NACS passes resolutions opposing vouchers, supporting public education funding

Northwest Allen County schools is advocating for better public school funding and requesting greater transparency of public money used to support private education. Since the beginning of the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program, $1 billion of public money has been spent on private and parochial schools. As of now, these institutions do not have to be audited by the State Board of Accounts or report how money is being spent.

Posted: Apr 7, 2021 8:14 PM
Updated: Apr 8, 2021 9:46 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Northwest Allen County Schools is advocating for better public school funding and requesting greater transparency of public money used to support private education.

Since the beginning of the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program, $1 billion of public money has been spent on private and parochial schools. 

As of now, these institutions do not have to be audited by the State Board of Accounts or report how money is being spent.

One organization - Americans For Prosperity Indiana - argues that's the school’s business.

“Where is it all going?”

A question mother-of-three Heather Emley and other parents in Northwest Allen County Schools are asking.

“The public school systems have to be audited and everything is counted down to the last pencils and piece of paper,” Emley said. 

The same isn’t the case for private or parochial schools.

“Are they going to be under the same strict guidelines that the public school system is? To follow that money, to see where it’s being spent,” she said. 

NACS Spokeswoman Lizette Downey says that’s why the Board of Trustees passed two resolutions relating to the biennium budget.

The first is, “Putting more money into the overall budget for education for public schools, especially when they are allocating a significant portion going to the voucher program, growing and expanding that,” Downey said. 

The second is, “We are pleading that we should all have the same requirements. If you’re taking public dollars, then the public deserves to know how the money is being spent,” she said. 

Ninety-seven percent of school-aged children living in the district attend public school. That’s why NACS opposes an expansion of the state voucher program.

Americans for Prosperity Indiana believes the opposite.

“We want to continue to expand this program and empower even more families to have access to an educational environment that works best for them," Americans for Prosperity Indiana spokesman Michael Chartier said.

Chartier says an audit of private institution spending is unnecessary.

He says even though they’re receiving taxpayer money, it’s the business of the school and the parent only.

For his organization, school choice is the key to student success.

“For a lot of students that’ll be the public school they’re assigned to. But for a lot of kids it’s going to be something different,” Chartier said. 

But Emley worries that these private schools value profit over people.

“It’s not a big business. This should be something where we break even every year and get the resources we need so that students are successful in their education," she said. 

Gov. Eric Holcomb identified a need to invest $600 million into the public school funding.

The money would help create competitive wages for teachers and increase recruitment and retention.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1084488

Reported Deaths: 17386
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1425562217
Lake705171220
Allen64347862
Hamilton49481481
St. Joseph48135639
Elkhart39011536
Vanderburgh33874494
Tippecanoe29863271
Johnson26876463
Hendricks25548379
Porter24683380
Madison20440444
Clark19785275
Vigo18609308
LaPorte16638260
Monroe16237217
Delaware16230286
Howard16181310
Kosciusko13763162
Hancock12644184
Bartholomew12544188
Warrick11889189
Wayne11794264
Floyd11792225
Grant11484233
Morgan10134188
Boone9576120
Noble8921121
Henry8917163
Marshall8792146
Dearborn875798
Dubois8673138
Shelby7958127
Cass7907126
Lawrence7861182
DeKalb7416106
Jackson738093
Huntington7280107
Gibson6922118
Montgomery6830122
Harrison680696
Knox6779113
Steuben641185
Miami6384106
Whitley631160
Putnam626582
Clinton614176
Wabash5958108
Jasper591991
Jefferson5617102
Ripley540892
Adams527881
Daviess4964116
Scott475978
Wells462998
White459967
Greene458399
Clay452162
Decatur4491109
Jennings434666
Fayette429094
LaGrange413890
Posey398344
Washington380654
Randolph3770107
Fountain364962
Spencer353446
Fulton352270
Starke343672
Sullivan342454
Owen341676
Orange320270
Jay315450
Rush293332
Carroll287037
Franklin283544
Perry281453
Vermillion277557
Parke244930
Tipton244664
Pike241744
Blackford213944
Pulaski203158
Newton176552
Brown169850
Crawford167129
Benton160517
Martin149219
Switzerland143712
Warren131416
Union115416
Ohio90513
Unassigned0581

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1673496

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1757641826
Cuyahoga1629012636
Hamilton1118741528
Montgomery791421387
Summit697231199
Lucas615331017
Butler55597803
Stark521611170
Lorain40661639
Warren35239412
Mahoning34821769
Lake31171493
Clermont30541362
Delaware26553182
Trumbull26366611
Licking26095335
Medina25072351
Fairfield24063287
Greene23957369
Clark21542387
Portage20538280
Richland20465336
Wood19524246
Allen18427320
Miami16950348
Columbiana16385331
Muskingum16346206
Wayne15351304
Tuscarawas14018357
Marion12978194
Erie12350198
Ashtabula12171225
Scioto12166182
Pickaway12009151
Ross11417223
Hancock11151173
Geauga10572174
Lawrence10433171
Belmont10200231
Huron9545155
Jefferson9425225
Union933375
Sandusky8981166
Seneca8639156
Knox8591169
Washington8578156
Athens825096
Darke8215179
Ashland7777147
Auglaize7695115
Shelby7302132
Defiance7174114
Brown7015115
Crawford7010150
Fulton6953111
Logan6818108
Mercer679397
Guernsey677983
Highland6591117
Madison639289
Clinton6361106
Williams623498
Preble6153139
Putnam6054120
Jackson569496
Champaign564786
Perry557179
Coshocton5525103
Ottawa549599
Morrow504464
Fayette481270
Hardin475399
Gallia460278
Pike457876
Van Wert451591
Adams4495109
Henry422776
Hocking398093
Holmes3917137
Wyandot366673
Carroll348978
Paulding317449
Meigs300957
Monroe230860
Noble216147
Morgan208938
Harrison204052
Vinton182037
Unassigned05
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