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Letter to the Senate on Specific Amendments to the Democratic FY 2014 Budget Proposal

March 22, 2013

Dear Senator:

In our letter yesterday on S. Con. Res. 8, we urged you to oppose any amendments that would provide private school vouchers. Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 113th Congress. Specifically, we urge you to vote NO on the following voucher and tuition tax credit amendments, should they be voted on:

  • Amendment 201 by Senator Cruz
  • Amendment 290 by Senator Rubio
  • Amendment 342 by Senator Alexander
  • Amendment 469 by Senator Cruz
  • Amendment 515 by Senator Alexander 

Vouchers are a way to subsidize tuition for private schools, primarily those with a religious affiliation, not expand opportunities for low-income students. The so-called Title I “portability” proposal is just another name for a voucher. It would divert funding from Title I public schools, shortchanging precisely the schools and the students that Title I was created to help: those with the largest concentrations of poverty. Specifically, this proposal:

  • Does not ensure parental choice. Parents have no guarantee their child will be accepted into the private school of their choice, assuming a private school with vacancies exists in their area.
  • Eliminates public accountability for public funds. 
  • Does not protect the civil rights of America’s students.
  • Is prohibitively expensive and diverts badly needed funds from public schools.
  • Would not significantly improve student achievement.  

Again, we urge you to vote NO on all voucher and tuition tax credit amendments, including those specified above. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations