(Guest post by Greg Forster)
One of the big controversies surrounding school choice programs is whether they tend to increase government regulation of private schools. Big, sweeping claims have been easy to come by; serious scholarship studying the question, while not nonexistent, has been rare. Today the Friedman Foundation makes a major new contribution by releasing the study “Public Rules on Private Schools.” It is one of the most careful, methodical analyses to date on this question.
The big revelation for me in this study is that government regulations associated with voucher programs (as distinct from other types of school choice programs) is disproportionately made up of paperwork and other compliance requirements. Programs can largely nullify the effects of these regulations by adding some additional funding to cover compliance costs. Some programs do this already. This seems like a no-brainer for legislators to start including in future bill design.
So for the most part the war between voucher and tax-credit scholarship programs seems to me to be blown way out of proportion. Top up the voucher for compliance costs and the differences become unimportant.
Check out this awesome slideshow for tons of information plus author Drew Catt’s spot-on demonstration of what “nerd hipster irony” looks like.