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Educators Slam Voucher Case Before Supreme Court

Espinoza v. MT Department of Revenue Aimed at Weakening Public Schools


WASHINGTON - January 22, 2020 -

Oral arguments were presented today before the Supreme Court in Espinoza v Montana Department of Revenue, a case that the National Education Association and its 3 million members decry as a thinly veiled attempt, supported by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her allies, to expand voucher programs across the nation. 

 

A victory for the plaintiffs in Espinoza vs. Montana Department of Revenue would create a legal path for the expansion of voucher programs, further draining already scarce resources from the neighborhood public schools that serve 90 percent of our nation’s students.

  

“From the outset it was clear the Supreme Court should not have taken this case. It lacks legal merit and is a far overreach, inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution and many state constitutions, including the state of Montana’s. This case is an affront to our constitution and has nothing to do with improving education for our children or protecting religious freedom.

 

“Taxpayers and voters have made it overwhelmingly clear that they do not want vouchers, rejecting them time and time again. But now we see Betsy DeVos and her allies using the Supreme Court to push their political agenda that seeks to dismantle our neighborhood public schools,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. 

 

NEA has consistently advocated for proven solutions for improving student outcomes in public education. This includes providing sufficient resources for neighborhood public schools so that students have inviting classrooms, well-rounded curriculum, small class sizes, and access to health care, nutrition, and after-school programs for students who need them.

 

NEA filed an amicus brief arguing the case before the Supreme Court lacks legal merit and should be thrown out entirely.

 

“If we are serious about every student’s future, we need to do what we know works to improve our children’s education. We must provide every student with the resources and tools they need to succeed,” added Eskelsen García. “Voucher programs take scarce funding from the neighborhood public schools that 90 percent of our children attend and give it to private schools that serve 10 percent of our students. The Court should allow Montana’s decision to limit public funding to public schools to stand.”

 

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at www.nea.org.

 CONTACT: Eric Jotkoff, NEA Communications, 202.822.7355, ejotkoff@nea.org