A number of outrageous voucher bills were introduced over the past few weeks that could privatize the majority of our K-12 funds. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN.) and Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN.) introduced a bill, the Scholarships for Kids Act, that could turn 63 percent of federal education funding into private school vouchers. That’s all education funding except funds to subsidize school lunches, funds dedicated to serve students with disabilities, and funds for students attending schools on federally impacted land or military bases.
Then there is Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) bill, the CHOICE Act. He wants to allow IDEA funds to be used for private school vouchers, give vouchers to students from military families, and expand the Washington, D.C., voucher program. These two bills together could turn essentially all federal education funding into vouchers.
Allowing the majority of our education funding to flow to private schools would have a devastating effect on children living in poverty, who are the primary beneficiaries of these federal dollars. Studies prove vouchers do not help students and families: They do not improve student achievement, they deprive students of the rights public school students have, they threaten religious liberty by funding religious education, and they lack accountability to taxpayers.