Brownback backs off
...[T]he federal program is still in its five-year trial period; the first group of nearly 1,000 low-income voucher students enrolled only last fall. Initiating a major change such as what Mr. Brownback proposes might be premature, especially since the existing experiment has not been fully evaluated.
This is one of the biggest problems with reformers of all stripes. Moderate success can turn into disaster when things are rushed. Expanding a program after its first year of trial is not a good idea.
According to officials of the Washington Scholarship Fund, the nonprofit organization that operates the voucher program, as many as 80 students offered scholarships for this fall may be unable to use them because private high schools in the District lack space. The space crunch will only worsen as elementary school students now enrolled in the program move up into higher grades. Concern about the capacity of D.C. private schools to accommodate the demand is, therefore, well-founded. It appears, however, that at this point in the year any congressional action to change the program's rules will not occur in time to assist voucher recipients looking for high schools this fall. For that reason, too, Mr. Brownback was right to hold off.
This will continue to be a problem for voucher proponents. Well established, solid private schools only have so much space. If the program expands too rapidly it is undeniable that all manner of shady educapitalists will rush in to fill the void. For all those conservatives who think public schools waste public money, wait'll you get a load of those guys. It wouldn't be pretty.