Monday, November 20, 2023

No Ifs, Ands, or Butts.

The Republicans don’t like public education, they don’t want the voters to be educated and they are doing everything in their power to destroy public education.

Their vouchers strip funding from public schools and direct it to private schools that can discriminate and in Texas the Republicans actually showed some smarts in voting a vouchers program that the governor was pushing.
Lawmakers at the Texas State Capitol on Friday rejected a bill that included taxpayer subsidies for some students to attend private school.

It was part of a larger measure that would also have given more money to public schools and teacher pay raises.

Opponents of the taxpayer financed savings accounts have stripped them from the House bill altogether. It's a big legislative victory for opponents, one that has been repeated for years in the Texas House.

For much of Friday afternoon, the debate took place between Republicans in the House. Some rural Republican lawmakers have previously joined Democrats to block the measure, but Friday was the first time in recent memory where the full House discussed it.

The measure would have allowed eligible students to receive up to $10,000 per year to attend private school. Lower income and students with disabilities would be favored.
But many other states have voucher programs.
Americans for Prosperity, school choice groups assemble army to push for voucher expansion
A legislative fight is looming over the Education Savings Account program, with teachers groups and others gearing up to push back
Nashville Tennessean
By Vivian Jones
November 7, 2023

As lawmakers consider whether to expand Tennessee’s school voucher program statewide next year, a handful of groups are already assembling both to support and oppose the new legislative push.

Tennessee's Education Savings Account program provides almost $9,000 in state funds to qualifying low- and mid-income students in Davidson, Shelby, and Hamilton counties to attend accredited private and parochial schools of their choice. After surviving a three-year legal challenge, the program launched during the 2022-23 school year.

Last week, House Education Committee Chair Mark White, R-Germantown, told The Tennessean he plans to propose expanding the ESA program statewide next year.

Americans for Prosperity of Tennessee has already knocked on more than 186,000 doors to bolster support for expansion, AFP Tennessee State Director Tori Venable told The Tennessean, and plans to top 200,000 doors before the legislature returns in January.
Why are the Republicans so gun-hoe on vouchers? One of the reasons is that they can discriminate. Many of the private schools are run by religious organizations and they can block LGBTQ+ students, they can not accept other religions.
A major push in state legislatures this year means nearly all students in six more states will soon be able to use public money to attend private schools.

The proliferation of new or expanded private school choice programs that have universal or near-universal eligibility marks major momentum for school choice advocates who have dubbed 2023 “the year of universal choice.”

So far this year, lawmakers in 14 states have passed bills establishing school choice programs or expanding existing ones, and lawmakers in 42 states have introduced such bills, according to EdChoice, a nonprofit that tracks and advocates for school choice policies, and FutureEd, a Georgetown University-based education policy research center.

Voucher programs do not work! The rich are already sending their children to privates schools, the upper middle class can now afford to send their children to private schools. While the lower middle class still can’t send their children to private schools.
How School Voucher Programs Hurt Students
By Joshua Cowen
April 19, 2023

In recent months, state legislatures across the country have broadened efforts to subsidize private school tuition with taxpayer dollars. New proposals for these programs—collectively called school vouchers—have appeared in more than a dozen states and passed as major priorities for Republican governors like Kim Reynolds in Iowa and Sarah Huckabee Sanders in Arkansas. Since 2021, Arizona, Florida, Utah and West Virginia have also created or expanded voucher plans. Meanwhile, a handful states like Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio and Wisconsin have run voucher programs for years. But do school vouchers actually work? We need to focus on what research shows, and what that means for kids moving forward.


Let’s start with who benefits. First and foremost, the answer is: existing private school students. Small, pilot voucher programs with income limits have been around since the early 1990s, but over the last decade they have expanded to larger statewide initiatives with few if any income-eligibility requirements. Florida just passed its version of such a universal voucher program, following Arizona’s passage in the fall of 2022. In Arizona, more than 75% of initial voucher applicants had never been in public school—either because they were new kindergartners or already in private school before getting a voucher. That’s a problem because many voucher advocates market these plans as ways to improve educational opportunities for public school children.


In Wisconsin, 41% of voucher schools have closed since the program’s inception in 1990. And that includes the large number of pop-up schools opening just to cash in on the new voucher pay-out. For those pop-up schools, average survival time is just 4 years before their doors close for good.

Here’s another problem: for most students, using a voucher is a temporary choice to begin with. In states that have reported data on the question–Indiana, Louisiana, and Wisconsin—roughly 20% of students leave voucher programs each year, either because they give up the payment or because schools push them out. In Florida, where vouchers just expanded, that number is even higher: around 30% per year in pre-expansion data.


And it’s not just the academic results that call into question any rhetoric around opportunities created by vouchers. Private schools can decline to admit children for any reason. One example of that is tied to the latest culture wars around LGBTQ youth, and strengthened in current voucher legislation. In Florida, a voucher-funded school made national news last summer when it banned LGBTQ children. In Indiana, pre-pandemic estimates showed that more than $16 million in taxpayer funding had already gone to voucher schools with explicit anti-LGBTQ admissions rules.

Voucher schools also rarely enroll children with special academic needs. Special education children tend to need more resources than vouchers provide, which can be a problem in public schools too. But public schools are at least obliged under federal law to enroll and assist special needs children—something private schools can and do avoid.
I have seen private schools cherry pick the cream-of-the-crop, the brightest and smartest leaving the average behind in the public schools causing their GPA to drop. Some states give funding to schools based on the number who graduate and by private school picking the best students public funding drops.
That is what research on school vouchers tells us. Vouchers are largely tax subsidies for existing private school families, and a tax bailout for struggling private schools. They have harmful test score impacts that persist for years, and they’re a revolving door of school enrollment. They’re public funds that support a financially desperate group of private schools, including some with active discriminatory admissions in place.
The Economic Policy Institute reported…
State and local experience proves school vouchers are a failed policy that must be opposed
As voucher expansion bills gain momentum, look to public school advocates for guidance
By Nina Mast
April 20, 2023

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a congressional hearing on voucher expansion featuring three voucher advocates and one opponent. The hearing comes amid an intense, coordinated push this year by anti-public school advocates who have long sought to privatize public education, in part through state-level efforts to enact private school voucher programs in state legislatures across the country.

School vouchers—which include traditional private school subsidies, Education Savings Accounts, and private school tuition tax credits—are diversions of public funds to private and religious schools. Efforts to implement and expand voucher programs in states across the country are key to the relentless and enduring campaign to defund and then privatize public education, a movement that also includes manufacturing mistrust in public schools and targeting educators and their unions.
“…  the relentless and enduring campaign to defund and then privatize public education …” just look at Moms for Liberty they are anti-public schools! Tearing down the public schools.
Arizona Center for Economic Progress (AZCEP): AZCEP has conducted significant analysis of voucher programs in response to relentless attacks on public education in Arizona, particularly in 2022, during which four voucher expansion bills were under consideration. Recent AZCEP resources include a four-part series on the history of vouchers in the state, an analysis of the fiscal impacts of vouchers on public schools, a fact sheet on the lack of transparency and accountability surrounding vouchers, and evidence that vouchers are creating unequal opportunities for most students. AZCEP also joined teachers, parents, and other public school advocates in a statewide campaign to block the voucher expansion bill passed in 2022. Unfortunately, well-funded attacks on public education prevailed, and the state now stands to lose up to $1 billion per year for public schools.


Every Texan: In Texas, Every Texan has been sounding the alarm about the harm of school vouchers for a decade. In 2017, Every Texan published a research brief finding that the state’s voucher program would cost public schools over $2 billion and showing how vouchers predominantly benefit wealthy families. Every Texan reminds us that vouchers are a legacy of white supremacy, unpopular, anti-democratic, and “just bad policy.” Though Texas Governor Greg Abbott has identified voucher expansion as his signature proposal for the 2023 legislative session, a bipartisan group of legislators (including rural Republicans) have effectively blocked the bill by passing a budget amendment that prohibits the use of public funds for private schools.

This goes back to the Republican push to do away with public education and just limit it to teaching  "Reading, Riting, and Rithmetic" and that only the elite gets educated.
    • Vouchers do not improve educational outcomes and likely worsen them. There is an extensive body of research finding that voucher programs do not improve student achievement. Recent studies in four states all showed that students who used vouchers experienced worse academic outcomes than their peers, and a study of voucher programs in Milwaukee found that voucher students performed better after transferring from private to public schools.
    • Vouchers represent a redistribution of public funding to private entities that leads to fewer funds available for public goods. An analysis of voucher programs in seven states found an unmistakable trend of decreased funding for public schools as a result of voucher expansion. Given the causal relationship between school funding and student achievement, denying public schools the funds necessary to educate students directly harms student outcomes.
Brookings Institution writes that,
Finally, there is modest evidence that traditional vouchers may compel small improvements in the achievement levels of at-risk public schools. Such results have been found in Louisiana and Florida in multiple versions of that state’s voucher program. In these papers, competitive impacts are most apparent in low-income communities that stand to lose substantial funding to voucher programs. However, if the goal is to simply improve public school outcomes, studies showing the impact of directly funding public schools are far more prevalent.
It creates a downward spiral; private schools siphons off the cream-of-the-crop, the brightest and smartest, public schools graduation rate drops resulting in their funding being cut. Meanwhile the private schools spits out the troublemakers, and the underachievers bring up their graduation rates.

Meanwhile private schools can reject special needs students, Blacks, Jews, Muslims, and LGBTQ+ students making the private schools lily white.

This whole “Woke” attack on schools is designed to weaken the public school system.

No comments:

Post a Comment