Friday, July 31, 2015

Voucher Movement Finally Coming Clean? New Push Is All About Middle Income Students

Last week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) held its fifth annual conference in San Diego. At the conference ALEC announced that they would no longer promote private school vouchers as helping poor, minority, or disadvantaged children, but would now be pushing vouchers for middle-class suburbia. The voucher system had previously been endorsed as a means to boost racial diversity and was restricted to low income families. However, like ALEC, numerous states have transitioned to promoting the privatization of public education.

In recent years Wisconsin, Indiana, and Florida have all raised the income ceiling for their state’s voucher program. This allows more families above the poverty line to receive vouchers while lower income families may still not be able to afford private school tuition even with vouchers. Last month, Nevada passed a universal “Education Savings Account” system allowing parents to use tax payer money to send their children to private or religious schools. Just last week, North Carolina’s highest court upheld a school voucher program which used tax payer money to fund a private education. Public school watchdog Educate Nevada Now warns that by extending vouchers to the middle class this will lead to “increased segregation based on race, socio-economic status, disability, and English language proficiency.”

Charters and Vouchers | Permalink


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