Vouchers for ghost students in the publicly-funded private voucher schools will infest the universal voucher scene.
Ghost students are a part of the largely unregulated charter school industry. In a report dated 10/31/2008 by Scripps Howard News Service, Ohio taxpayers were paying millions of dollars every month to serve tens of thousands of charter school students who rarely or never showed up for classes. Scripps Howard cited a Cincinnati charter school in 2004-2005 had a truancy rate of 64% of those students enrolled and being funded.
The infamous ECOT charter school in one year alone was paid $60 million for students claimed for funding, but not being educated. (ECOT over a 15-year period likely was paid one half billion dollars for students claimed, but not educated.) Is that still a practice on-going in a sector of the charter industry? Maybe.
When universal vouchers come to Ohio, watch out for ghost students. Fly-by-night schools will pop-up. The state will be incapable of monitoring the schools involved in the voucher industry; thus taxpayers will be paying for ghost students.
Vouchers became available in North Carolina in the 2014-2015 school year. A March 2017 report by Duke Law School indicated that accountability measures for North Carolina private schools are among the weakest in the country and the program was poorly designed to promote better academic outcomes for students. (Does Ohio have any useful accountability measures for voucher school students?)
A June 16, 2023 analysis of the North Carolina voucher program determined that many private schools have more vouchers than students. An analysis of the data shows 62 times where a school received more vouchers than they had students.
A universal voucher program in Ohio will create a new industry of fly-by-night private schools which will game the system. Voucher zealots and their legislative enablers have no clue as to the chaos they are creating.
Learn about EdChoice Vouchers: An Existential Threat to Public Schools