Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Flash: New subspecies of voucher vulture discovered in Arizona

The AZ school voucher program (OK - it's real title is "empowerment scholarship account") appears to be breeding a new kind of parent - the kind that enrolls in the program and then hoards the money. This is one more reason why the school vouchers are a really rotten idea.
Parents with empowerment scholarship accounts have amassed roughly $2.5 million of unspent public money over three years ...

The unspent funds represent 21 percent of the $11.8 million disbursed since fiscal-year 2012.  Sixty-eight parents have held onto amounts ranging from $10,000 to $61,047 ...
A spreadsheet the department prepared shows 16 students over the course of the program’s history have banked $20,000 or more. Fifty two more students have hung onto amounts between $10,000 and $19,999. The most tight-fisted parent has hung onto $61,047 while spending only $825. The next closest has held onto $31,000 of unspent funds...
Aiden Fleming, who administers the program for the Arizona Department of Education, said the department is aware of the growing accounts, but has no authority over how much of the quarterly disbursements must be spent.
“For good administration you don’t want to see $60,000 or $100,000 accumulate on the (account) that could be spent,” Fleming said. “Every dollar that is not being spent is not being spent on the child.”

No comments:

Post a Comment