July 28, 2017

The cost of school vouchers

Randy Weingarten, Alternet - [Education Secretary] DeVos’ preferred choices—tuition vouchers and tax credits, and private, for-profit charter schools—actively destabilize our public schools. They can—and many do—discriminate, because private schools do not follow federal civil rights laws. They drain funds from public schools and increase racial and economic segregation. They lack the accountability that public schools have. And, after decades of experiments with voucher programs, the research is clear: They fail most of the children they purportedly are intended to benefit, children who are disproportionately black, brown and poor.

An analysis of the Washington, D.C., voucher program by the Department of Education found it has a negative effect on student achievement. The Louisiana voucher program has led to large declines in kids’ reading and math scores. Students in Ohio’s voucher program did worse than children in traditional public schools. And for-profit and online charter schools have similarly troubling results. The Morning EmailWake up to the day's most important news. 

These choices move us further away from the choice every child in America deserves—well-supported, effective public schools near his or her home.

But Trump and DeVos are not backing off their support for vouchers, for-profit charters and other privatization schemes. They have proposed spending billions of tax dollars on vouchers and tuition tax credits, paid for by cutting federal education spending that goes directly to educate children in public schools by $9 billion.

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