Pfaff: House GOP continues to reject accountability, transparency for charters, vouchers

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Republicans continue to reject efforts by State Rep. Tonya Pfaff (D-Terre Haute) to provide accountability and transparency for charter schools and voucher programs across the state.

In a party-line vote, the House GOP rejected an amendment offered by Pfaff that would have required charter schools, virtual charters, and voucher programs to ensure that 85 percent of their funding goes toward student instruction and learning. She offered the amendment to House Bill 1003, which presently requires public schools to make the 85 percent mandate.

“Why aren’t we subjecting our experimental charters and voucher schools to the same types of oversight that we are asking of public schools in this bill?” Pfaff asked.

“I know that House Bill 1003 is being offered as a ‘proposal’ to provide more pay for teachers across Indiana, but the fact is that the bill does not provide more funding for that particular purpose,” she continued. “In fact, it is placing added restrictions on the ability of local school corporations to determine how they conduct business. It is a slap in the face of local control for our public schools.”

Pfaff’s amendment was designed to ensure that charters and vouchers follow the same standards as public schools.

“Vouchers are private operations and we are being told that we cannot interfere with how they operate,” Pfaff said. “I believe that private schools that take public tax dollars should be held accountable and provide transparency in their operations. I am disappointed that these privately-operated school programs are being allowed to use taxpayer dollars without any control from the state of Indiana.”

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