Heineman’s Stealth Voucher Program Stalls; Scholarship Hopefuls Missing School

Here’s why we don’t count on private sector charity to provide vital public services:

Students whose families pinned private school hopes on a new state-subsidized scholarship fund missed the first week of school while waiting for answers.

Sioux Falls Catholic Schools admissions coordinator Jenni Struck said when classes started Monday, some kids who had applied for the scholarships didn’t show up. Others whose families could afford the first tuition payment started classes in the hopes that financial aid would follow.

“They’re kind of in a holding pattern,” Struck said.

It’s unclear how many families have been left in financial limbo because of the undelivered scholarships. A nonprofit created by the state to run the private school scholarship program started accepting applications the first week of August before it had secured funding for the awards [Megan Raposa, “Students Miss School Waiting for Scholarship Answers,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.08.27].

Hey, kids! Don’t hang your education on Phyllis Heineman’s unreliable stealth vouchers. Just wait another week—the Sioux Falls public schools will have seats for all of you when they open after Labor Day, no check required.

4 Responses to Heineman’s Stealth Voucher Program Stalls; Scholarship Hopefuls Missing School

  1. Charles Weis

    Please help me better understand this. It appears that the state sets up a non-profit run by non-elected officials. The officials receive money from people/organizations. The officials do not have to say who contributes money or how much money they receive. Parents can apply for scholarship dollars from the mysterious pot of money. The non-elected officials do not have to disclose who or how many people apply for scholarship monies. The non-elected officials also do not have to disclose who they award dollars to or how much they award. Is there any oversight over this program?

  2. Darin Larson

    Charles, oversight? We are not familiar with that term in South Dakota.

    The Republican legislature loves open meetings laws and governmental oversight so much that they apply it to everyone except themselves and their pet projects.

    The only oversight will be under the 1st Amendment when parents of kids who received too small of a scholarship to allow them to go to a private religious school speak out about their experience.

  3. Blue in a Red State

    Can’t say I’m not surprised that Phyllis didn’t deliver.

  4. Private charity fails, state-funded K-12 education chugs along. Go figure. Let’s repeal these clunky stealth vouchers in 2017!