Standing Together for Strong Community Schools

Tennesseans invested in local public education.

What About Vouchers?

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Here are some of our concerns about school vouchers:
  • Vouchers have not been proven to work. Despite built-in screening advantages for private schools, reports on voucher experiments in cities such as Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Washington, D.C. show these programs have not been successful in consistently raising student academic achievement.
  • Vouchers eliminate public accountability. Vouchers channel tax dollars into private schools that do not face state-approved academic standards, do not make budgets public, do not adhere to open meetings and records laws, do not publicly report on student achievement, and do not face the public accountability requirements contained in state and federal laws, including special-education laws.
  • Vouchers avert the will of citizens because, while public schools are run by elected school boards,  private schools are led by appointed boards/administrators. Vouchers remove the right of voters to make their voices heard in how they want their schools/school boards run.
  • Vouchers leave behind many disadvantaged and special needs students because private schools may not accept them or do not offer the special services they need. (Unlike public schools, private schools are not legally required to provide special education services.)
  • Vouchers do not truly provide school choice because private schools ultimately choose who they will admit to their institutions. In addition, private schools may, without warning, expel a student who does not meet their expectations.
  • Vouchers divert attention, commitment, and dollars from public schools to subsidize private-school tuition for a few students, including many who already attend private schools, creating new costs for taxpayers. A dollar spent on a tuition voucher is a dollar drained from public education.
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