School Choice aka Vouchers



Related Documents

  • Vouchers and Taxpayer Savings Grants

    by TASB Governmental Relations Year Published: 2017

    This document, provided to attendees of the 2017 TASA/TASB Legislative Conference, describes three mechanisms generally supported by voucher proponents: traditional vouchers, tax credit scholarships, and education savings accounts (ESAs). SB 3, filed in the 2017 legislative session, includes both ESAs and tax credit scholarships. The document also includes arguments for and against such voucher proposals. Download the PDF.

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  •  Voucher Talking Points 2015

    Talking Points on Private School Vouchers

    by TASA Year Published: 2015

    Discussion of taxpayer-funded private school vouchers, in some form or another, has surfaced in every Texas legislative session since 1995. Read the talking points.

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  •  Taxpayer Savings Grants Talking Points

    Talking Points on Taxpayer Savings Grants

    by TASA Year Published: 2015

    After years of unsuccessful attempts to pass private school voucher legislation in Texas, proponents attempted a rebranding of sorts in 2011, when they introduced “taxpayer savings grants.” Don’t let the more marketable name fool you; these “grants” are simply private school vouchers. Read more about taxpayer savings grants.

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Related Articles

  • Dismal Results From Vouchers Surprise Researchers as DeVos Era Begins

    by Kevin Carey, The New York Times Year Published: February 2017

    "The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education was a signal moment for the school choice movement. For the first time, the nation’s highest education official is someone fully committed to making school vouchers and other market-oriented policies the centerpiece of education reform. But even as school choice is poised to go national, a wave of new research has emerged suggesting that private school vouchers may harm students who receive them. The results are startling — the worst in the history of the field, researchers say." Read the full article.

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  • Don't Be Fooled by 'School Choice,' It Is the Latest Attempt to Funnel Tax Money to Private Schools

    by Ken Zornes, Contributor, The Dallas Morning News Year Published: February 2017

    "Under a voucher system only those parents sending their children to a private school will know where their tax dollars are going. Those who keep their children in the public schools and those without children will have no idea where their tax dollars are being used or if they are being used effectively. They won't know what athletic teams, debate teams, choirs and other school activities their money is being used for. They won't know what ideas are being taught using their tax dollars, ideas that could espouse racism, discrimination, sexism or xenophobia, to name a few." Read the full editorial.

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  • Here We Go Again - Fighting Vouchers at the Capitol

    by Sara Stevenson, Austin educator Year Published: February 2017

    "Senate Bill 3, Article 1 states that the purpose of the bill is to 'improve public schools and overall academic performance, promote efficiency, promote and preserve the liberties and rights of the people, and to increase parental options.' When the overall goal of the bill is to hand taxpayer dollars to individuals to use toward private school tuitions — or perhaps to purchase a new computer for home schooling — this bill does nothing to improve public schools. ... If the second goal — to promote efficiency — is genuine, why do many pages of the bill establish comptrollers, reports and complicated procedures to fend off abuse?" Read the full editorial.

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  • Poll: Private School Voucher Not a Popular Fix for Public Schools

    by Julie Chang, Austin American-Statesman Year Published: February 2017

    "Reducing standardized tests is the most popular way to improve the state’s public school system, according to the results of a poll released by the Texas Tribune and the University of Texas on Wednesday. The internet survey of 1,200 registered voters, conducted Feb. 3-10, found that 21 percent of respondents believed that reducing the number of tests was the most effective way to improve schools, followed closely by increasing funding to schools. According to 13 percent of those surveyed, using state money to send students private schools — a school voucher program sometimes referred to as school choice — was the third most popular choice." Read more.

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  • Proposed ESA Plan Bad for Texas Students

    by Charles Stafford, Denton ISD trustee and TASB president Year Published: February 2017

    “It is puzzling to try to find savings in this proposal. There will be no savings to taxpayers. We will keep sending money to the state. There will be no savings to school districts. If one student in every classroom in Texas used an ESA to leave, there would be no cost savings to public schools because they would still be paying the same number of teachers and the same air-conditioning bills. There will be no savings to the state. In fact, a new bureaucracy will be created to administer the ongoing distribution of taxpayer dollars to whomever is chosen to provide ‘education.’” Read the full editorial.

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  • The Rebranding of Vouchers: Education Savings Accounts

    by Ramiro Canales, TASA Year Published: December 2016

    "The program du jour that has generated the most interest and traction is the education savings account (ESA). To proponents, ESAs are not vouchers. They are an innovative and customized option for parents who seek a quality education for their children. In their view, ESAs will spur competition between public and private schools to secure the funding that each parent receives. To opponents, however, it is a voucher with a politically acceptable moniker." Read the full article.

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  • What Indiana's Voucher Program Says About Education in the Trump Era

    by Emma Brown and Mandy McLaren, The Washington Post Year Published: December 2016

    "Most recipients are not leaving the state’s worst schools: Just 3 percent of new recipients of vouchers in 2015 qualified for them because they lived in the boundaries of F-rated public schools. And while overall private school enrollment grew by 12,000 students over the past five years, the number of voucher recipients grew by 29,000, according to state data, meaning that taxpayer money is potentially helping thousands of families pay for a choice they were already making. Most recipients qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, according to state data, but a growing proportion — now 31 percent — do not." Read the full article.

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  • Segregation Driving ‘School Choice’ Charade

    by Charles Luke, Texas Coalition for Public Schools Year Published: September 2016

    "The history of vouchers actually suggests that they were a way to avoid granting civil rights to others. Vouchers were developed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954 that schools integrate and end the charade of “separate but equal” treatment of students. For at least a decade, some states simply ignored the ruling, but with passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states began to implement “freedom of choice” programs that would allow white parents to take their child to a select school and thereby leave segregation patterns untouched. Mississippi even had “segregation academies” that only white children could attend." Read the full editorial.

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Related TASA Capitol Watch Alerts

TASA's Position

  • Oppose any state plan that would use vouchers, tax credits, taxpayer savings grants, tuition reimbursements, or any other means to divert public tax dollars to private entities, homeschooled students, or parents with no academic or financial accountability or transparency to the state, taxpayers, or local communities.