In Depth: Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand Talks Vouchers

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Watch this podcast. Fifteen minutes is all you need.

Bob Leonard: What is [the voucher bill] going to mean for taxpayers?

Rob Sand: “Open season on private entities spending your tax dollars with no oversight… So there’s rules on what parents can spend the money on. And parents can be kicked out of the program or charged criminally if they break those rules. But if a private scho0ol after they’re paid that money wants to – I don’t know – take the principal to Europe for a vacation at 5-star hotels, with tax dollars, they can do it under this legislation. And not only can they do it, there would be very limited ability for us to even find out. Because despite the fact that they have allowed now private schools to access public money, there’s no public meetings, no public records, there’s no annual audit requirement that all public schools have to deal with. And so the ability to have any oversight or even know what’s happening with these tax dollars is very limited.”

“Some folks who I’ve pointed this out to who support the program say, ‘well that’s fine, we don’t want any government oversight.’ To which I point out to them public records, public meetings, public audits, that’s not about government oversight that’s about the public knowing – the public overseeing what’s happening with our tax dollars… but then they say, ‘well, parents will be able to decide, and they are the ones who are going to choose where their kids go to school.’ Okay well where in the statute does it give parents the right to know any of this information? The answer to that is nowhere. Parents whose kids go there also have no right to this information under this law. I cannot imagine we are going to be handing out a billion dollars to private schools with no real oversight or even knowledge of what they’re doing with that money.”

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