NEA on Vouchers: Opposed
NEA opposes school vouchers because they divert essential resources from public schools to private and religious schools, while offering no real "choice" for the overwhelming majority of students.
- Vouchers provide less accountability for public resources than public schools. Voucher proposals do not require private schools to adopt the academic standards, ensure the highly qualified teachers, or administer the assessments required of public schools.
- Vouchers threaten civil rights protections. Private, religious and home schools are not all fully covered by civil rights laws. Private schools accepting voucher students can discriminate in admissions and in employment on the basis of religion and can use public funds for sectarian purposes.
- Vouchers offer false parental "choice." Vouchers provide no choice for the 90 percent of parents whose children attend public schools — and particularly not for the parents of children with special needs, low test scores or behavioral problems.
- There is no evidence that vouchers improve student learning. Every serious study of voucher plans has concluded that vouchers do not improve student achievement.
- The American people consistently reject vouchers at the polls. Every time a voucher proposal has been put to the voters, it has been voted down by a wide margin.
- Public schools are improving without vouchers. Competent, caring teachers, backed by supportive parents and administrators, are producing exciting gains in student achievement in public schools across America, through a variety of successful and innovative programs.
- Rather than experimenting with programs already found to make no real difference in student achievement, Congress should focus on ensuring that all students across the country have the tools for success — including smaller class sizes, more parental involvement, up-to-date materials and high quality teachers.