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Thank you Letter to the House on the Voucher Vote

May 26, 2011

Dear Representative:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for your vote this week against a deeply troubling private school voucher amendment to the Department of Defense authorization bill.  Our members across the nation are very grateful for your support. 

The proposal reflected bad public policy.  As Congress is proposing drastic reductions in federal spending, there would have been no reason to divert scarce resources to vouchers.  When public schools are struggling to provide the services students need to succeed, the last thing we need is to spend scarce taxpayer funds on private schools. 

In addition, vouchers for students with disabilities would have been completely unnecessary, as current law under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act already provides for complete services for students with special needs.  This includes covering the cost of private school if necessary to ensure full services.  And, families accepting such vouchers would have lost important protections provided for students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

Your vote reflected the fact that vouchers are not real education reform.  Our focus should be on strategies proven to increase student achievement, such as increasing parental involvement, strengthening teacher training, and reducing class size.  And, our goal should be to prepare all students for the jobs of the future, not to allow a few students and parents to choose a private school at taxpayer expense. 

We thank you for taking a stand in support of public education by opposing this private school voucher plan. 
 
Sincerely,

Kim Anderson         
Director of Government Relations

Mary Kusler
Manager of Federal Advocacy