HALL MONITOR: “YES” on Opportunity Scholarships in North Carolina (HB 823 and SB 406)

Name: North Carolina House Bill 823 and North Carolina Senate Bill 406, Choose Your School, Choose Your Future.

Summary: Makes all students eligible for the Opportunity Scholarship program and allocates funds for scholarship grants for students to attend non-public schools.


HB 823 has passed the House and been referred to the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations.

SB 406 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations/Base Budget.

Bill Sponsors: 

HB 823:  Rep. Patricia Cotham, Rep. David Willis, Rep. Donnie Loftis, and North Carolina House Speaker Rep. Timothy K. Moore are the primary sponsors.

SB 406: Sen. Michael Lee, Sen. Lisa Barnes, and Sen. Amy Galey are the primary sponsors.

A sponsor is a legislator who presents a bill to the legislature to be considered for a vote

Bill Breakdown: 

This bill amends the terms of North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship program to allow any North Carolina student who has not yet graduated from high school to apply for scholarship grant funds. It also amends the terms to allow these scholarship funds to be used at any nonpublic school on a full or part-time basis. 

The bill grants scholarship funds proportionately to the income level of the household, with households that qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program eligible to receive 100% of average “per-pupil allocation” towards the scholarship.

To provide for this funding, the bill allocates funds from the state’s General Fund to the Opportunity Grant Scholarship Fund for the 2024-25 fiscal year. 

Why did PDE Action support this bill? 

PDE Action believes that school choice and parental rights go hand in hand. Parents, not the government, know what educational environments suit their child. PDE Action supports any effort to expand education opportunities to families.