Duke University reports on North Carolina’s voucher program after three years.

The report adds to the growing evidence that “escaping” a public school to a religious or other private school does not “save” children.


Vouchers may be as much as $4,200, far below the tuition of elite private schools ( which don’t have empty seats and are unlikely to accept students with low test scores anyway).

” The number of children receiving vouchers has increased from approximately 1,200 in the first year to 5,500 in 2016-17. The General Assembly has authorized an additional 2,000 vouchers for each year over the next decade, bringing the total to 25,000 by 2027.”

The current annual expenditure is $60 million. By 2027, the program will have cost $900 million.

 Based on limited and early data, more than half the students using vouchers are performing below average on nationally-standardized reading, language, and math tests. In contrast, similar public school students in NC are scoring above the national average.”

93% of the vouchers are used at religious schools.

There is virtually no accountability for voucher schools. “Accountability measures for North Carolina private schools receiving vouchers are among the weakest in the country. The schools need not be accredited, adhere to state curricular or graduation standards, employ licensed teachers, or administer state End-of-Grade tests.”

Vouchers are evidence-free. Rifhtwing ideologues believe that choice is the goal of choice. They promise dramatic gains that never materialize. One can only conclude that they they don’t care about the children because choice is an end in itself.