While there is clear evidence suggesting vouchers don’t improve academic outcomes for students, a new concern is getting the attention of Tennessee lawmakers: Fraud.
The Daily Memphian has more:
Reports from across the nation show situations in which private-school officials and parents spent voucher money for items unrelated to education. Cards were used at beauty supply stores, sporting good shops and for computer tech support, in addition to trying to withdraw cash, which was not allowed.
The Arizona Republic found many parents there put voucher funds into college-savings accounts then sent their children to public schools, among other fraudulent activity, all amid lax oversight. The Phoenix newspaper also reported the state investigated one case in which voucher funds were allegedly used to pay for an abortion after it adopted an Empowerment Scholarship Account program in 2011.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported in 2014 the state paid $139 million over 10 years to schools it wound up removing from its voucher program for not following Wisconsin’s financial reporting rules and other guidelines.
It’s not clear if voucher legislation will move forward this session, though Governor Bill Lee has consistently supported using public money to fund private schools.
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