This was to be expected. As the voucher plan winds its way through the District of Columbia’s Nanny (aka Congress), a number of private schools in the city say they may not want to participate in the program. Some headmasters didn’t like the provision that students would be assigned randomly to participating schools while others said they would not participate if they had to give standardized tests. That last point becomes more important since the Senate last week added a requirement for voucher students to take the same tests given to kids in the DC public schools.
As you might expect, the schools with most objections are also among the most expensive private schools in DC. It’s not likely that the families of the students participating in the program will be able to make up the difference between the $7500 Congress will give them and the $20,000+ that some of these schools charge. In the end, most of the voucher students will probably attend one of the Catholic schools in the city. Which is actually a positive for the voucher kids since the Catholic schools in DC are generally very good. The big question, however, is whether the administrators of this program will be able to find enough spaces for the 1300 – 1700 kids (depending on the version of the bill) in the schools that agree to participate.