by Andrew D. Catt
Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
June 17, 2014
Is regulatory creep a fate that awaits all school choice programs? With the number of those programs doubling over the past five years, the need for context is critical. Before they rush to impose public rules on private schools, policymakers should establish empirically-driven thresholds, and see if the private school sector is already meeting those thresholds before determining if any additional regulation is necessary. By the same token, they should take into account the oversight roles of accreditation agencies and associations to see if there is some measure of oversight and accountability already in place. Legislatively mandated costs to private schools could potentially put these schools out of business, a factor which legislators and regulators have an ethical obligation to consider carefully. Finally, they should ensure that all schools, regardless of type or sector, can be reimbursed for substantial costs associated with regulations.