The Hidden Costs of Vouchers

When they passed the ill-conceived program to hand taxpayers’ money to lower-income people to pay for private schools for their children, Republican lawmakers didn’t bother to point out the fine print – that the $4,200 maximum might not cover expenses such as food and transportation. And it also doesn’t cover the full tuition of private schools, many of which are church-affiliated.

While an N.C. State University study shows many families like getting that public money for private schools, some are struggling to cover the rest of the expenses. That struggle is going to be more common as the program expands, and in 10 years taxpayers will be transferring an astonishing $144.8 million a year of their money to the voucher program. That parents say they can’t cover all the additional costs without scrambling or getting scholarships from the private schools their kids attend isn’t good, because GOP legislators will doubtless simply add a little more money to the program to boost the “scholarship” amount.

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