With the first round of vouchers for the 2023-2024 school year increasing by nearly 30%, Hoosier taxpayers have the right to demand accountability and transparency for those tax dollars. Why are private voucher schools not audited by the State Board of Accounts like traditional public schools?Billions of dollars have gone toward private (nearly all) religious schools since the inception of the voucher program in 2011. While the money may “follow the child” to those private schools, children’s rights do not. Indiana’s Constitution requires our state legislature to provide a “free and open to all” … “general and uniform system of Common Schools.” Voucher schools are not open to all. These schools can pick and choose who comes through their doors and which children, once enrolled, are allowed to stay. A student in a private school can be told to leave at any time, for any reason – or for no reason at all.

Additionally, charter schools (publicly funded, privately run) are often enrolled by lottery. These schools open and close with the “market” often leaving children and families stranded. What happens to the taxpayer money? Who collects the Common School Fund Loans when charter schools close down? Why do charter schools get to select who audits them?

ICPE supports the full funding of our traditional public schools whose mission it is to educate every child. Every dollar that leaves the public schools into private hands should be accounted for and seen. Our children are too precious to waste any resources that could be spent meeting their needs. Open the books and let us see where those tax dollars go. What is the legislature afraid of?

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