From NC Policy Watch education reporter Lindsay Wagner:
As the North Carolina General Assembly considers enacting landmark legislation that would put publicly-funded vouchers for private schools in the hands of parents at a cost to public education of at least $50 million over the next two years, lawmakers and citizens are asking a simple question.
Who will hold these publicly-funded private schools accountable for providing our children a high-quality education?
Legislators, including Reps. Skip Stam, and Marcus Brandon, and Speaker Thom Tillis have offered a simple response: the parents.
The rhetoric suggests that if given a choice, parents will certainly send their students to the highest quality institutions of education that have set up shop in North Carolina. Parents are the ones who are best positioned to assess a school’s ability to provide high-quality educational services, and a school will not survive if a parent finds it to be lacking in fiscal resources, adequately supported and well-trained teachers and staff and an excellent curriculum.
Yet, it’s difficult to imagine that all parents possess perfect knowledge of the educational marketplace. If that were the case, would Florida be home to 25 schools that were found to have defrauded a taxpayer-funded voucher program, which resulted in cases where large numbers of students were crammed into rotating classrooms locations in dingy strip malls, church foyers and public parks?