Education – Report on Private Schools and Equitable Services Released

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new study examining the growth of private school choice programs and their impact on federal funds for eligible students. According to the study, participation in voucher and education savings account (ESA) programs doubled in the past 5 years, from approximately 70,000 students to approximately 140,000 students. Similarly, funding for these programs has also increased, from approximately $400 million to $859 million. Under laws and regulations for two key federal grant programs, public school districts are required to provide equitable services, including special education and related services for students with disabilities, to eligible private school students. However, they do not specifically address providing these services to students in private school choice programs. Education officials in all the surveyed states maintained that vouchers and ESAs complicate their efforts to implement these programs. To resolve the complication, GAO recommended that the Department of Education include quality information to clarify requirements and responsibilities for student funding eligibility. Read GAO’s study here.

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