Legislators in North Carolina are on track to create a voucher program that would divert $90 million from the state’s underfunded public schools.

NC Policy Watch says beware. Deregulation in other voucher programs has left at trail of fraud, corruption, and abuse of taxpayer dollars, with no benefit to the students. Despite the claims of voucher cheerleaders, students in voucher schools perform worse than their peers in the public schools.

Going for vouchers means an abandonment of accountability, for students and for taxpayer dollars.

Public Schools First NC summarizes the legislation as follows:

“School Vouchers: Did you know…

“House Bill 944 contains some interesting provisions. As we said when the bill was filed, it benefits relatively few students and will unlikely serve the low-income children for whom it was ostensibly created.

“If you read the fine print, here are just some of the details:

“If families received the maximum amount of the voucher ($4200) then based on the funding, only 9,524 students could be served in year one, growing to 11,905 in year two. NC’s public schools serve nearly 1.5 million students.

“Information about vouchers and the application process will be available on a Web site. The bill does not indicate how families who do not have easy access to the Internet will obtain the information.

“Vouchers are awarded based on the order in which applications are received–not based on relative need.

“Aggregated standardized test performance data of voucher recipients is not part of the public record and must only be reported if a private school has more than 25 students receiving vouchers.

“Private schools accepting vouchers are only required to provide an annual written progress report to a student’s parent or guardian

“A private school is only required to conduct a financial review if it accepts students receiving more than $300,000 in scholarship grants (a minimum of 72 students).

“Only the highest ranking staff member at a participating private school would be subject to a background check.

“Imagine what our public schools could do with the $90 million proposed to fund this limited program!”

Public Schools First NC – PO BOX 6484 Raleigh, NC 27628 (919) 576-0655