Vouchers Leave Texas Students Behind

November 10, 2022  

What to Know: School vouchers divert public funds to private schools and vendors. School vouchers undermine public schools and students. School vouchers lack taxpayer oversight of financial and academic performance.  vOUCHers Hurt!

It doesn’t matter if school vouchers are called Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs), special education vouchers, virtual vouchers, or a “bracketed” voucher set up to protect rural schools from the harmful impacts of their scheme to divert public dollars to private schools and vendors: any voucher program will have a long-lasting, negative impact on our state.  Taking public money out of public schools and charter schools leaves less in school campus budgets for extracurricular activities like robotics teams, math pentathlon programs, band, fine arts, and dual language programs.

Vouchers Infographic
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And for every student who leaves a Texas public school or charter, a campus would lose about $10,000 in state and local funding. This loss can impact teacher retention and salaries, as well as the extracurricular activities that make for a well-rounded public school experience.  Vouchers have been created to take away funding from our public schools to help the few who are accepted to and who can afford private schools.  Rarely do vouchers cover the entire cost of private school tuition, leaving middle- and lower-class families targeted by these programs to cover the remainder of the cost. In fact, vouchers help families whose children already attend private school as this group makes up the majority of voucher program participants. Vouchers can also leave students with special needs or learning disabilities behind. When parents of students with special needs enroll their child in a private school that does not receive federal funding, they waive their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Public schools provide these mandated special education services to students; private schools are not required to provide these same special education services to their students. And voucher programs often grow well beyond their intended scope, even when a “spending cap” is included. Small, targeted voucher programs are often the tip of the iceberg and a way to get a foot in the door to pry it open for larger, expanded programs to emerge. Many states have seen voucher programs balloon to larger-than-expected amounts of state dollars. One state in particular saw its voucher program grow to more than 60 times its original spending limit. Vouchers would hurt Texas students and schools. Raise Your Hand Texas believes public dollars should remain in public schools.

Tags: vouchers
Categories: School Vouchers

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