State Auditor Says Reynolds’ Voucher Bill “Fundamentally Irresponsible”

State Auditor Rob Sand released the following statement yesterday about Kim Reynolds’ school voucher bill. [Bolding is BFIA’s]

Whether you call them ESAs or vouchers, as Iowa’s taxpayer watchdog I am alarmed by the intentional lack of transparency and accountability under the proposed legislation.

This bill gives private schools your tax dollars, and gives you no right to know what they are doing with them.

Existing law requires public schools to have open meetings, maintain and produce public records, and have elected citizen oversight. They must follow budgeting laws. They must have an annual audit. We learn of waste, fraud, and abuse of tax dollars in part because of these obligations. None of these obligations apply to private schools the same way. This bill won’t change that.

Also, this bill provides no rules for how private school use these funds. After a private school gets public dollars as tuition, they could buy a teacher or teachers brand new Ford Mustang convertibles in the name of incentive pay. The public may not find out at all, and if they did, there may be no recourse for taxpayers. That is flatly, fundamentally irresponsible.

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