They allow some students the option to attend other schools, usually private religious schools, at taxpayer expense. In evaluating these programs over the years the research indicates the performance of "voucher students" isn't significantly better than that of their peers attending the public school. In other words, instead of actually fixing the problem the federal government would rather offer a "feel good solution" that in reality is no solution at all.
Here is what you can do:
Take action right now!
Act NOW to Stop School Vouchers!Urge Congress to End DC Voucher Program
On Tuesday, June 24, the House Appropriations Committee will mark up the FY2009 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which could include $18 million for private and religious school vouchers. This bill could contain a continuation of a federally-funded school voucher program even though the program was supposed to end in September 2008.
In 2003, Congress authorized a pilot, private-school voucher program for the District of Columbia. Now, even though the program's five-year pilot period is ending, President Bush has proposed an increase in funding. Next Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee will mark-up the bill that funds the D.C. voucher program. If this Congress does not end this, the only nationally funded voucher program, more may come and your state could be next.
The D.C. public schools are in need of improvement, yet this program does nothing to help public schools provide high-quality education. In fact, congressionally mandated federal evaluations released in both 2007 and 2008 found no significant differences in academic achievement between voucher students and their peers in D.C. public schools. This program does not work and should not be funded by our tax dollars.
Furthermore, these vouchers have been funding religious education. Because sectarian schools integrate religion throughout their curricula, school vouchers allow the state to fund religious teaching as well as secular coursework.
In addition, despite receiving public money, the participating private schools are not subject to all federal civil rights laws, and do not face the same accountability standards that all public schools must face.
Please call the Majority Office of the House Appropriations Committee ASAP to urge the defeat of this misguided program! The number is (202) 225-2771.
If you cannot make a phone call, please e-mail your representative NOW to urge him or her to oppose this program. Your representative can help stop vouchers before they go any further.