Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ten Percent Of Private Schools Receiving Vouchers Not Graded

The Journal-Gazette's Niki Kelly has a disturbing story today about 28 private schools receiving vouchers to educate K-12 students under Indiana's Choice program not being graded by the state's Department of Education because of a statistical anomaly. No grade is issued if the school has insufficient data to calculate a grade.

The 28 private schools represented 10% of the schools accepting state-paid vouchers. Another 6% of the voucher schools received a D or an F. The grades are critical because it's what determines whether a school can continue to receive voucher students. If a school receives a D or F two years in a row, they are cut off from accepting voucher students.

According to the Department of Education, seven voucher schools received letters last year informing them they couldn't receive new voucher students due to low grades. Of those seven, five improved their grades in the latest A to F rankings. An additional four received their second letter telling them they couldn't enroll voucher students after receiving their second consecutive D or F grade.

Most of the private schools are church-run schools. The Indiana Constitution prohibits money from being drawn from the state treasury for religious purposes. The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Indiana's Choice program doesn't violate the constitution because the vouchers are made available to the parents of students who direct which schools the money is sent to educate their children, which some people would argue is a distinction without a difference.


Anonymous said...

There is practically no – NO – oversight on religious schools including Moslem Madrassa schools. Many of these schools (perhaps all of the Moslem schools) do not obey Indiana law and pledge allegiance each day. They often teach students to hate American.

Our taxpayer dollars are being used to propagandize students and produce radicalized future citizens and voters. Where is Glenda Ritz? Where is the State School Board? Where is the oversight???

Phil Hinkle said...

Interesting comments Gary. I voted against vouchers all along the way for the simple fact that once government gets their financial fangs securely locked in the private school's throat, they will start dictating how the schools will operate. The response was always, it has been vetted in court as constitutional, to wit I responded that they also vetted Dred Scott in the U S Supreme. It not happen tomorrow, but give it five years and say good bye to self run private schools without government control.

Anonymous said...

This has interesting parallels to IBJ's story on Marion County charter school grades. Given the State's history of fudging grades for certain players, it makes one wonder if the charter/private school grades are even this rosy.

LamLawIndy said...

Gary, Art. I, §6 says that "[n]o money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." Vouchers don't exist for the benefit of the religious entity that operate schools: they exist to benefit students who attend the schools. The funds from the DOE provide tuition for the student.