Tuesday, May 14, 2024

What Do You Think About School Vouchers?

I think that they are a very bad idea and the data is backing that up. Vouchers are destroying our public education systems and discriminating against trans, gays, and non-Christians.
Arizona is a cautionary tale for school vouchers as a wave of states are giving parents cash to send their kids to private school
  • Arizona established a universal school voucher system to allow kids to switch from public to private school.
  • An expert told BI that vouchers tend to go to wealthy families.
  • It's "a cautionary tale" for all the other states expanding voucher systems, he said.
Business Insider
By Ayelet Sheffey
May 13, 2024

The prominence of school vouchers continues to surge across the country — but they might not benefit the families who need them the most.

Over the past few years, states like Ohio and Arkansas have expanded their school voucher programs to allow most or all parents to receive funding to send their kids to private schools. More than 20 states now have some kind of voucher program with more in consideration. Arizona was the first state to create a universal voucher program in 2022 — and experts have said it's the state to watch when analyzing the impact of vouchers for all.


However, gradually, more states began to raise the poverty limit, making nearly any parent eligible to receive the funding — and in some states, it led to the cash going to the wealthiest families. Arizona is "a cautionary tale" regarding the expansion of vouchers, Josh Cowen, professor of education policy at Michigan State University, told Business Insider.

"With the Arizona expansion, it's just going into communities that are primarily wealthy," Cowen said. "When this thing stopped becoming a means test 20 years ago, it stopped being an antipoverty device."
Now then where is the funding for the voucher system coming from… why from funding public schools. That means the money that was going to public schools are now being funneled to private schools that can discriminate against us.
Arizona is just one example of the range of programs across over 20 states implementing voucher programs. While they've been championed by many Republican legislators who have argued that the vouchers allow parents to control what their kids are learning, critics have argued that they've diverted funds from public schools and lack accountability measures.

Through an analysis of the 2024 second-quarter report for the program, Brookings found that the lowest-poverty areas in Arizona tend to have the highest participation in the ESA program, and the area with the lowest median income also has the lowest ESA participation rate.
You see the money is going to rich white families to send their children to rich white private schools while cutting funding to inner city schools.
The report noted that there are a range of reasons families in higher poverty areas might not be participating in the program, including being unaware of the program or unable to get to their preferred school due to transportation barriers. Cost is also a barrier, the report said, since tuition at private schools often exceeds the scholarship amount.
Yup, it is the Republican way… cut education for the low income families while the upper class is given more funds to go rich white private schools. But, but it is not segregation we give the vouchers to everyone! It is economic segregation along racial lines.
While Arizona got a head start on implementing its voucher program, other states are following suit. At least eleven now have universal programs, and other states, including Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama, are considering new laws. Arizona could preview not only budget complications for other states but a rocky outlook for the future of public education.

"You see these vouchers start to cannibalize on public school funds. The most important piece probably is at that state level where you really are talking about taking up a huge portion of dollars that the state can be spending on other things, like public schools, but also other parts of the economy," Cowen said.
Notice that all the are Republican states and they all fall to the bottom of state funding for education.
Alabama: 45
Arkansas: 47
Arizona: 36
Georgia: 30
Tennessee: 39

Does that tell you something?

Also since many of these voucher schools are private and a large percentage are religious school they can discriminate in hiring teachers and students. That means trans children and gay and lesbian children can be denied admittance. The same with students with disabilities, and non-Christian students students they can be told to take a walk.

The National Education Association writes in an article from 2020…
When listening to the rhetoric from the Trump administration, a single vision for our schools is presented: privatization. For the past four years, Trump and his Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have touted ineffective and harmful voucher schemes, and attacked educators and educator unions, only putting more strain on our students. DeVos, however, has used her wealth from long before then, when she lived in Michigan and left schools in tatters with her voucher and for-profit charter schemes. Bringing her privatization agenda with her, DeVos now attempts to siphon off much needed funding from public schools to private institutions that only benefit a small group to the detriment of the 90 percent of our students who attend public schools. During a global pandemic and months of protests against racial injustice, her voucher proposals support racist institutions that only benefit wealthy, white Americans.
Does that tell you something about the Republicans motive?
Even today this practice is allowed to continue. During her May 2017 testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee, DeVos was pressed about the exclusionary policies of voucher programs. Multiple times, she refused to say that she would step in to prevent private schools from discriminating against students based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
They know that it is discriminatory because that is the way it was designed to circumvent Title IX. The National Coalition for Public Education reports,
Private voucher schools do not provide the same rights and protections to students as public schools, such as those in Titles IV and VI of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Every Student Succeeds Act. And, students who attend private schools using vouchers are stripped of the First Amendment, due process, and other constitutional and statutory rights guaranteed to them in public schools.
These vouchers programs go to future the long term goals of the right-wing conservatives of creating a White Christian nation where the Whites are the only ones educated and the “others” are only good for picking cotton and signing loans.

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