Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to dramatically increase the number of students who can attend private schools at public expense is missing a key safeguard: strong oversight and accountability to ensure kids are learning and that taxpayer money is being well-spent. Unfortunately, the governor has rejected all suggestions that private schools be held accountable for their performance in the same way as public schools. Instead, his plans would hand over public resources to private schools with no strings attached.
Setting aside the volatile question of whether public dollars should be used to support private, religious education, there is one area where people on any side of the voucher issue should be able to agree: Any recipient of state dollars should be held accountable for how that money is spent.
Private schools that accept vouchers should be subject to the same testing requirements – and graded on the same A-F scale - as public schools. Schools that fail to make the grade should be dropped from the program, or barred from accepting new voucher students. Simply put, Louisiana taxpayers have a right to know what results they’re getting for their money. And on this critical count, the governor’s plan falls short.