She does not mention they also take the students and educate them. http://indianapublicmedia.org/stateimpact/tag/school-vouchers reads, “School vouchers allow a student to take state money — normally distributed only to public schools on a per-pupil basis — to a private school of his or her choice. (Additional funds allocated for students enrolled in free and reduced lunch programs are non-transferrable.)”
Charter schools must be authorized and have public hearings (http://in.gov/icsb/2545.htm). Charter and voucher schools must do the same ISTEP-type tests as public schools (http://www.doe.in.gov/standards).
Bush says choice schools have “no accountability.” I challenge anyone to read the 40 pages of the Indiana Charter School Board’s handbook (http://in.gov/icsb/files/ICSB_StartUp_Manual.pdf) and say charter schools have “no accountability.”
Pages 5 and 6: Board members must have background checks, and obey the Open Meeting Law; Page 7: 90 percent of teachers must have teacher’s licenses and the rest must have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 in their teaching subject and be acquiring their teaching license; Page 8: Each certificated employee must have an annual performance evaluation; Page 9: Citing Indiana Code 20-24-5-1, charter schools must be open to any student who resides in Indiana and may not limit admissions on the basis of test scores, socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity or a variety of other factors. A Lottery selects from an excess of applicants; Page 11: Suspensions and Expulsions Pages 11 to 13: Special Education – ... charter school must meet the requirements of Article 7, IDEA, Section 504, and Title II and are thus required to make a free appropriate public education available to all students with disabilities; Pages 13-15: Homeless students, English language learners, high ability students, and CTE – Career and Technology Education. Page 21: Charter schools receive $5,088 per student for Fiscal Year 2017. (Extra funding for Special Ed, first year construction, English Language Learners, FDA breakfast/lunch subsidies, technology funding, textbook/school fee reimbursement, and more may be applied for from the federal government and private foundations, similar to what is available to public schools.); Pages 34 to 36: Indiana State Assessments and Accountability (ISTEP, IREAD-3); Accountability Choice schools must purchase insurance minimum requirements, which are listed at http://in.gov/icsb/files/ICSB_Insurance_Requirements.pdf : Workers Comp., Commercial General Liability of not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 for bodily injury. ... expressly cover sexual abuse/molestation, ... Educators’ Legal Liability, Automobile Liability, Umbrella/Excess Liability, Property Insurance, Student Accident Coverage for All Indiana High School Athletic Assoc. (IHSAA) schools, optional Cyber Liability, and optional Foreign Travel/Field Trip Liability.
There is much more in Indiana Code Title 20, Article 24: Charter Schools, and IC 20-51: Vouchers.
I’m sorry this dry list of citations doesn’t have the delightfully colorful vocabulary of Ms. Bush. Her final questions: “Perhaps the fundamental question is what does society stand to lose in the name of ‘school choice’? Whose choice is it, anyway?”
My answer: Society loses the public school monopoly, and parents gain choices among competing, improving, schools, which obviously are held accountable.
Jeannette Jaquish is a playwright and videographer, and Vice Chair of the Allen County Libertarian Party.