Kelly v. North Carolia: Protecting NC's Opportunity Scholarship Program

Kelly v. North Carolina

In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly created the Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships of approximately $4,000 to children from lower-income families in the state. Families use these scholarships to attend a private school that fits their child’s unique learning needs. The Program was challenged in court and then upheld by the state’s Supreme Court in 2015.

Since 2015, this state has successfully operated the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program, which has helped over ten thousand low-income students a year receive the funds they need to attend a private school that fits their needs. Plaintiffs bring yet another challenge to the Program, this time charging that, as applied, the Program is discriminatory and does not further the public purpose because many of the schools where parents direct their scholarship funds to be used are religious.

Seven North Carolina parents, in conjunction with the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) and the National Education Association (NEA) are trying to block the program from continuing.

Attorneys from the Liberty Justice Center are representing the North Carolina General Assembly in Kelly v. North Carolina to protect a scholarship program that provides educational opportunities for thousands of low-income students. Opponents of the program want to see the scholarships ended — which would force thousands of students to leave their current schools and would close the door to education opportunity for countless others. Meanwhile, the tried and tested program has already been upheld by the state’s Supreme Court and even recently expanded by the General Assembly.


Liberty Justice Center filed a Motion to Intervene in Kelly v. North Carolina on Sept. 18, 2020, in the Wake County Superior Court.


Notice of Intervention 10/26/2020

Answer and Motion to Dismiss 10/26/2020

Press Release 10/26/2020

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