by Max Brantley
A little-noticed element of the budget deal was approval of private school vouchers in Washington, D.C. It's part of a national movement by conservative Republicans back toward vouchers — including for church schools and without regard to family income. I believe a limited voucher bill was introduced by a Tea Party legislator in Arkansas, though it didn't go far.
We'll see more. Charter schools have amounted to a quasi-voucher program by producing like assemblies of students in privately subsidized settings as private school-like options in a number of urban school districts. But they still have some state control and now and again an independent regulatory board — such as, lately, Arkansas's Board of Education — has even been known to enforce promises made by charter schools in return for state suppport. No such oversight exists on payments of public money to take to private schools.