Vouchers to eviscerate public schools

Instead of simply financing a traditional system of neighborhood schools, legislators and some governors are headed toward funneling public money directly to families, who would be free to choose the kind of schooling they believe is best for their children. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/education/states-shifting-aid-for-schools-to-the-families.html? hp&_r=0 By drawing money away from public schools, such programs weaken a system left vulnerable after years of crippling state budget cuts —while showing little evidence that students actually benefit. “This movement is doing more than threaten the core of our traditional public school system,” These state efforts come at a particularly challenging time for public schools. Their budgets suffered severely during the recession, and they are now facing pressure to conform to new curriculum standards and to evaluate teacher performance. “We’re not providing adequately now,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association. “Why would you take away” financing from public schools? Cchools that accept vouchers or tax credit scholarships often filter out students with special needs, and that families already sending their children to private school use the public programs to subsidize their tuition. It is also not clear that students who attend private schools using vouchers get better educations, as many do not have to take the annual standardized tests that public school students do. Research tracking students in voucher programs has also not shown clear improvements in performance. “At the same exact time as accountability and transparency seem to be the total watchword for how are we spending these dollars in an austerity-ridden environment,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, “there’s absolutely no accountability with vouchers.”

 

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