- The nonprofit Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina is in consideration to oversee how $1 million in taxpayer funding is distributed for the launch of new charter schools in the state.
- The group was created as a vehicle to lobby for more public charter schools and private education vouchers in North Carolina.
- If the nonprofit is given control in how the money is used, it will be barred from using the funds for its overhead, and its president says the money would be a bargaining chip for promoting additional giving from foundations, according to the Associated Press.
This move could reportedly be a first for North Carolina, and it raises an important question: Should a lobbying organization be given control of taxpayer funds? There's seemingly a pretty clear conflict of interest in doing so — especially with private schools among the group's interests. According to a report from Indy Week, 70% of the state's 700 private schools are religious or sectarian, and the AP story doesn't state any conditions prohibiting PEFNC from using those funds for private schools.
While nothing is certain yet, approval could see the state venture into very murky water and sink even deeper into the national debate around school choice issues and funding for charter and private schools.