Q&A Friday #15: Would A National Voucher Program Ruin Private Schools?

Question: “In the past, you wrote that you support school vouchers. Won’t private schools that accept federal money have to face government regulation? The way I imagine it would play out is this: Private schools that choose not to accept voucher money, (because of fears of regulation) would have to close their doors. Why would parents pay tuition out of their own pocket when the government is willing to pay for their children’s tuition to private school? The private schools that accept voucher money would have to adhere to new regulations (which the government would provide for accountability purposes) and lose their autonomy, which is the very thing that parents send their children to private school for. So we end up with a whole bunch of pseudo-private schools that seem an awful lot like the public schools that we are stuck with now.

What do you think are the long term effects of vouchers?” — homeschoolmom

Answer: Certainly there would be more regulation of private schools if vouchers became widespread, but to be honest, I can’t say that I think it’s a big concern overall.

If government regulation of private schools that took vouchers became so odious that it ruined the schools, you’d see some private schools refuse to take the vouchers and we’d be in the same situation we’re in now. Some parents would pay to send their kids to better schools and the others would have to settle for free schools of lesser quality.

So, I wouldn’t worry about that too much.

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