Federal Vouchers or Trojan Horse?

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

photo by Gage Skidmore

The Left has predictably objected to the Trump Administration’s proposal to, in essence, offer federal vouchers to American children in order to attend the school of their choice. Nevertheless, there is some division on the right about the wisdom of this approach.

“Every spending increase has been accompanied by a plethora of federal regulations,” Tom Carroll, the president of Invest in Education, said last week at a forum co-sponsored by The Fordham Institute and the Hoover Institution. “Tax credits come with fewer restrictions.” And he’s for it.

“Research shows vouchers come with more federal regulations than tax credits but tax credits also come with regulations,” Neil McCluskey of the Cato Institute pointed out in the debate with Carroll at the Hoover/Fordham forum. “They regulate the accreditors.”

“There are 61 school choice programs with 450,000 students in the United States,” McCluskey pointed out. “Don’t increase the federal role in education when states are having so much success,” he advised.

Indeed, the next day at the Cato Institute, at another forum which McClusky presided over, Vicki Alger of the Independent Institute pointed out that Arizona, where she resides is home to both a plethora of school choice programs and student achievements. Arizona eighth grades, she notes, made the greatest math gains in the country.

Alger doesn’t support federal vouchers either.