ERIC Number: ED499006
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program: Additional Policies and Procedures Would Improve Internal Controls and Program Operations. Report to Congressional Requesters. GAO-08-9
Ashby, Cornelia M.; Franzel, Jeanette M.
Government Accountability Office
The D.C. School Choice Incentive Act created the first private kindergarten-through-grade-12 school-choice program supported by federal funds. The program was named the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP). The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to assess the (1) accountability mechanisms governing the use of funds; (2) results of the grantee's efforts to meet the program's recruiting priorities and eligibility requirements and inform parents of their choices; and (3) extent that the evaluation of OSP reflects statutory requirements and the implementation of the program supported the detection of useful and generalizable findings. To assess the program, GAO analyzed financial, program, and evaluation data. GAO did not assess the performance of participating private schools nor did GAO evaluate the impact of the program. The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Education should direct the grantee to improve internal controls, continue to integrate its financial systems, improve monitoring, and provide accurate information to parents. The Secretary and the Mayor of the District of Columbia should ensure participating schools are in compliance with District requirements. The Secretary should ensure that programs are implemented in accordance with any required evaluation. The entities providing comments on this report generally agreed with GAO's recommendations but disagreed with many findings. The following are appended: (1) Scope and Methodology; (2) Laws Authorizing Related Voucher Programs; (3) Comments from the Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia; (4) Comments from the Department of Education; (5) Comments from the Washington Scholarship Fund; and (6) Contacts and Staff Acknowledgment. (Contains 10 tables and 26 footnotes.) [This report was produced by the US Government Accountability Office.]
Descriptors: Educational Vouchers, Educational Legislation, Parent Education, Private Schools, School Choice, Accountability, Scholarships, Educational Finance, Compliance (Legal), Student Recruitment, Eligibility, Program Implementation, Program Evaluation, Educational Opportunities, Poverty, Access to Education, Educational Quality, Grants, Minority Groups
US Government Accountability Office. 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; Web site: http://www.gao/gov
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia