Legislative auditor criticizes voucher program

Article By: Will Sentell | December 17, 2013 | Originally Posted on theadvocate.com

In a report sure to spark controversy, Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said Monday that the state Department of Education is short on criteria to make sure schools are academically prepared to handle their voucher students.

The agency also needs more detailed oversight to ensure that schools have the physical capacity for the students they request, Purpera said in a two-page summary that accompanied his review.

“Such criteria will become even more important in the future should the program continue to expand,” according to the audit.

The report also says that:

  • 41 percent of voucher students scored at grade level or above on key tests.
  • Voucher students account for more than half the enrollment at 18 schools in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas of the 118 reviewed statewide.
  • The state was overcharged for tuition by 35 of the schools, including a top overbilling of $5,566 per student.

The school was not identified.

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