In this photo taken Aug. 8, 2017, Kelsey Nellis, second from right, instructs employees in preparation for the start of the school year at the Mountain View Christian Schools in Las Vegas. More than a third of U.S. states have created school voucher programs that bypass thorny constitutional and political issues by turning them over to non-profits that rely primarily on businesses to fund them. But the programs are raising questions about transparency and accountability at a time when supporters are urging that it be expanded into a federal program. (AP Photo/John Locher)

School choice program raises questions about accountability

August 11, 2017 - 3:10 am

LAS VEGAS (AP) — More than a third of U.S. states have created school voucher programs that bypass thorny constitutional and political issues by turning them over to nonprofits that rely primarily on businesses to fund them.

But the programs are raising questions about transparency and accountability at a time when supporters are urging that they be expanded into a federal program.

Traditional school vouchers are directly funded by the states, but these programs don't use any public money.

Instead, those who contribute to the voucher program get tax credits. Seventeen states now have the so-called tax-credit scholarships.

Supporters want to see a federal program.

Asked whether such a proposal might be included as part of a tax overhaul, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told The Associated Press: "It's certainly part of our discussion."

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