Wisconsin is marching inexorably down a path toward two separate publicly-funded education systems for our K-12 students. One is our traditional public schools; the other is a system of private voucher schools largely funded by taxpayer dollars.
Many observers have called Governor Walker’s proposal to expand private school vouchers bad education policy. I agree. But, today, I would like to address voucher expansion from the perspective of fiscal policy.
If voucher advocates are successful in expanding private school vouchers in this budget, vouchers will eventually become one of the largest taxpayer‐funded entitlements in Wisconsin.
For years, policy initiatives stemming from right-wing belief tanks have been wrapped in the rhetoric of positive outcomes that are, in fact, the complete opposite of what the measures are really intended to do.
On Monday, the pro-privatization education group StudentsFirst, led by former D.C. public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, released a State Policy Report Card, ranking states and giving each a letter grade based on their implementation of a slew of education reform policies.
In her annual Message on Public Education, Jan Resseger, Minister for Public Education and Witness at the United Church of Christ Justice, denounces the privatization of public education as the abdication of our responsibilities as citizens of a democratic nation to provide all children with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.
Louisiana's new state voucher program, which is set to begin in August and is backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, has gotten the green light to start accepting applications, despite opposition from education advocates, parents, local school boards and teachers unions. A judged refused to delay the program this week even as a lawsuit brought by the school boards and unions winds its way up through the court system.
Diane Ravitch thinks Louisiana might just make the cut as the "worst state in the nation" in terms of its commitment (or lack thereof) to fostering a strong public education system that serves the needs of all students. From her blog:
Advocates for high-quality public schools for all children suffered a setback this week when reports surfaced of a compromise between the Obama administration and Congressional leaders that would once again provide funding for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program in the FY2013 Financial Services Appropriations bill.
The Schott Foundation's Patrick St. John attended Netroots Nation to participate and report on education conversations at the conference.
Bloggers, activists, and policymakers converged on Providence, Rhode Island, last week to swap ideas, skills, and strategies to move the progressive movement forward.
Nothing involving vouchers, school choice and ALEC-drafted legislation is going to turn out well for students or our nation's education system. North Carolina is one of several states wrestling with legislation that would create a backdoor for corporations to fund scholarships (read: vouchers) through handpicked nonprofits. In North Carolina, the corporations could then receive tax credits to divert up to $40 million of their state taxes.