Last Tuesday the TN House Finance subcommittee passed a voucher bill that will be voted on by the full Finance committee this Tuesday, January 26th. The bill has already passed in the TN Senate, and Governor Haslam has indicated that he supports the bill. We need YOUR help to KILL this bill!
"The Constitution of the State of Tennessee requires that the Tennessee General Assembly provide for the maintenance, support and eligibility standards of a system of free public schools. There is no mention of the maintenance, support or eligibility standards of private schools mandated by the state."
Vouchers shift public school funds away from our cash-strapped public schools to private entities that can pick and choose which students to serve.
• Private school vouchers have been used for years in other states. Results in these places clearly show that vouchers do NOT increase student achievement for students that use them, and often students who attend voucher schools perform worse than those who remain in public school. As a tool to increase student performance, VOUCHERS ARE A PROVEN FAILURE.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin has had a voucher program since 1990. According to a 2012 study by the Public Policy Forum, Milwaukee public school students clearly outperformed voucher school students in both math and reading
• Vouchers don't empower students or parents with "choice". The choice lies entirely with the private voucher school. They can accept or deny a student based on their admission criteria, which may include religion, academic ability, disability and sexual orientation. Private schools CHOOSE who they want to admit leaving voucher students at their mercy.
• Voucher schools will be free to use public funds to teach a wide range of religious and political doctrines.
• Vouchers means less money to our already underfunded public schools. Don't be fooled by "money follows the child" rhetoric. When students use a voucher, our public schools
become no less costly to run. Facility costs, transportation, faculty and staff, and other
costs are not reduced by the departure of a few students. Legislators want accountability from our educators and schools yet continue down the path of decreasing funding for our schools by diverting the money to private schools with vouchers.)
• If Tennessee passes a voucher law, proponents will be back again and again to expand the program. Several legislators pushing vouchers are on record as wanting vouchers available to middle class families, with no limit on the number of vouchers available, and in areas with no struggling schools. Current voucher bills are a Pandora's Box.
• The cost of vouchers would strain local school and county budgets. According to the executive director of Tennessee County Commissioners Association (TCCA), "Vouchers, at the end of the day, would be the greatest [financial] nightmare counties ever faced."
• Who do vouchers really help? A December 2012 Tennessean article reported that most private schools are not interested in accepting vouchers. Financially struggling private schools will turn to vouchers for an influx of students and money that they haven't been able to garner on their own.
Public school funds should not be used as a financial bail out for struggling private schools.
Time to tell TN Lawmakers - SAY NO TO VOUCHERS!
Join BATs as we support our TN BATs in a Thunderclap to shed light on this. SUPPORT THE THUNDERCLAP AND GET ON TWITTER ON MONDAY 1/25/16 AND TWEET THE TWEETS BELOW TO THE TARGETS LISTED!!
GO TO @BADASSTEACHERSA to support the Thunderclap and go to #tnleg and #novoucherstn to retweet!
Vouchers: the way #tnleg abandons public #education #novoucherstn
#tnleg: Teachers are watching you abandon public #education, and they will remember in November. #novoucherstn
#tnleg should PROTECT public #education and fully fund the BEP. Use the surplus to say #novoucherstn
Tweet to the following!@BillHaslam
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