National  Education  Policy  Center:  Has  the  Tide  Turned  Against  Vouchers?

National Education Policy Center: Has the Tide Turned Against Vouchers?

By Anne Rowe for DPS board, March 14, 2019


The National Education Policy Center asks whether the tide has turned against coupons.

i would argue in response to their concern that there was never ever a tide favoring vouchers except amongst politicians who took campaign contributions from coupon fans or who ideologically hate whatever public.

No public referendum on vouchers has ever backed them. The most current was in Arizona in 2018, where two-thirds of voters opposed vouchers while re-electing a rightwing guv funded by the Koch device.

Vouchers lost in Florida in 2012, despite the support of Jeb Bush, and regardless of the fact that the referendum was stealthily called a vote on “religious liberty.”

Vouchers lost in deep red Utah in 2007, extremely.

Indiana has the nation’s most expansive coupon program, but only 3.5% of kidsebrolled and most had never ever participated in public schools. They were religious families looking for public. Only for their spiritual education.

NEPC sees other factors toquestion the appeal or feasibility of coupons.


“Late last year in Montana, the State Supreme Court struck down the state’s three-year-old neovoucher program, judgment against the constitutionality of tax-credit-funded coupon law due to the fact that it funded private, religious education.

”In November in Arizona, voters rejected the proposed expansion of Empowerment Scholar- ship Accounts, state tax dollars that moms and dads can use for home education, personal education and other educational expenditures. An audit by the state’s attorney basic subsequently discovered that moms and dads had wasted or tried to misspend the funds on such expenses as cosmet- ics, non-educational music albums, and entry into a seasonal haunted house.

“A couple years before that, the Supreme Court in Nevada concluded that the state’s “Educa- tion Cost savings Account” coupon plan breached the Nevada constitution because of a financing system that drew money away from public schools.

”In Colorado, in 2017, a slate of school board candidates moneyed by the American Federation of Educators ousted a set of Koch-backed opponents who presented a pilot school voucher program in a conservative Denver residential area.

“And at the national level, the Republican-backed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 might have the (almost certainly unexpected) consequence of considerably reducing federal tax benefits for wealthy donors to neovoucher programs. Internal Earnings Service assistance on the matter is expected any day now, according to Carl Davis, a tax policy professional who is the research di- rector at the Institute on Taxation and Financial Policy.”


Academic research study has actually converged on a agreement: Kids who take vouchers get lower test ratings.

Vouchers are on life support but they hang around because state courts packed with rightwing judges chose to neglect the plain language of their state constitutions.

They aren’t dead. But they drain money from public schools where there are certified teachers and where kids are not indoctrinated to Bible Belt theories.