Yes, of course we should be interested in having government-driven programs be free of waste, fraud, and abuse, but this sure does seem like a political attack on a policy that helps disadvantaged students escape failing government schools and secure real opportunities through private schools. According to Emma Brown, in the Washington Post, three Democrat Senators are asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate states’ tax-credit scholarships, which allow businesses to donate money for scholarships in exchange for some percentage back as a tax credit.
Naturally, Rhode Island’s upper crust U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is one of the three signatories. The emphasis of the letter on whether such programs “pose a risk of waste, fraud, abuse, misconduct, or mismanagement” indicates that the objective is to attack the programs, not simply to learn from them. Note, especially, that the letter doesn’t ask the GAO to look into the positive results of the programs.
One wonders where Whitehouse sent his own children to school.
Meanwhile, in Rhode Island, Republican state representative Robert Lancia (Cranston) has submitted legislation that would increase the cap on Rhode Island’s tax credit scholarship program and implement a feature that would allow it to grow according to demand. His bill (for which I offered feedback based on a review of other such programs) would also make scholarships more predictable, by prioritizing continued funding of scholarships for students already receiving them.