Vouchers

Promoting Public Education: Fighting Vouchers in Our Nation’s Capital

Eight years later, study after study has demonstrated that the DC vouchers have failed to achieve their purported goals. Nevertheless, conservatives in Congress are pushing to resurrect and expand this failed scheme. While there is no doubt that educational opportunities and standards must be improved across the country, allocating money to private schools at the expense of public school students is not the way to succeed. Public dollars must continue to fund public services.

People For the American Way Opposes DC Vouchers, S. 206

On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of members of People For the American Way, we urge you to oppose S. 206, the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act, which Senator Lieberman introduced last week. This bill would reauthorize the DC private school voucher program, the “temporary five-year pilot” program that has existed since 2003.

People For the American Way Opposes DC Vouchers, H.R. 471

On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of members of People For the American Way, we urge you to oppose H.R. 471, the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act, which Speaker Boehner introduced last week. This bill would reauthorize the DC private school voucher program, the “temporary five-year pilot” program that has existed since 2003.

Arizona Supreme Court Rejects Voucher Schemes

The Arizona Supreme Court today rejected publicly funded voucher schemes that send public money to religious and other private schools. PFAW and a group of allies filed suit against the state in 2006, pointing to clear language in the Arizona Constitution that forbids appropriating taxpayer money in aid of "private or sectarian schools." "The Arizona Constitution is very clear on this issue, and I'm pleased that the court recognized that," said Tanya Clay House, PFAW Director of Public Policy. "This is a victory for students, parents, taxpayers, and all those who value religious liberty, as guaranteed through the separation between church and state. Taxpayer money shouldn’t be going to pay for private or parochial schools."

Senate Rejects Extension of DC Voucher Plan

The Senate today rejected an amendment that would have continued sending taxpayer money to the District of Columbia school voucher program. The legislation, which was not reviewed by any Senate committee, was defeated by a vote of 58 to 39.

"Congress deserves an A-plus for this decision," said People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert. "School vouchers have always been about ideology, not education," said Kolbert.

Religious Protection Laws in the United States

An historical timeline of state constitutional amendments intended to preserve church-separation, and an overview of recent attempts to revise or delete these protections.

Florida Supreme Court Removes Voucher Amendments from Ballot

Following oral argument this morning, the Florida Supreme Court this afternoon unanimously ordered that two proposed state constitutional amendments cannot appear on the November ballot. The amendments would have repealed the Florida Constitution's prohibition on public aid to religious institutions and allowed public funds to be used to subsidize religious and other private education. Placed on the ballot by the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, the proposed constitutional amendments were intended to overturn the Court's 2006 ruling that invalidated the state's voucher law. The Court today ruled that the Commission overstepped its authority by placing the items on the ballot.

Democrats Should Oppose Voucher Schemes in Party Platform

Changing course from previous years, the recently released draft platform of the Democratic Party did not contain explicit language opposing publicly funded school vouchers. Tanya Clay House, PFAW Director of Public Policy, issued the following statement. "Democrats should use the party platform to make clear their opposition to school voucher schemes that undermine the goal of strengthening public schools and providing quality educational opportunity to all children. In the past, Democrats have held the line against Republican-led efforts to weaken public education through school vouchers, and that stance should be made explicit in this document."

McCain Uses NAACP Conference to Push Anti-Public Education Voucher Ploy

During his speech today at the NAACP’s annual convention, John McCain reiterated his support of taxpayer funded vouchers to send children to religious and other private schools. People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said, "John McCain is trying to score points with his right wing base, and he’s doing it at the expense of children. It’s bad enough that these voucher schemes are designed to undermine the separation of church and state."

People For the American Way Foundation Sues to Protect Church-State Separation

People For the American Way Foundation, along with a group of allies, today filed suit on behalf of six Florida voters to prevent two proposed state constitutional amendments from appearing on the November ballot. The proposed amendments would pave the way for sending public monies to religious and other private schools.

Arizona Court of Appeals Rejects Voucher Schemes

The Arizona Court of Appeals today rejected publicly funded voucher schemes that send taxpayer money to religious and other private schools. People For the American Way, along with a group of allies, sued the state in 2006, pointing to clear language in the Arizona Constitution that forbids appropriating public money in aid of "private or sectarian schools."

Flaws and Failings

In early 2004, Congress passed, and President Bush signed into law, an omnibus appropriations act that also created a new federally-funded school voucher program in the District of Columbia, the first such federally-funded voucher program in the country.

Privatization of Public Education: A Joint Venture of Charity and Power

When good people give their own money to a child in need, the best of the human spirit is
revealed. When our nation writes its laws and public policies, the spirit of the nation must be
reflected in order to care for all children. The decisions we make today about the best way to
educate our children must be conducted in the full knowledge that these decisions will shape our
children’s future and our future as a nation.

Punishing Success: The Governor's Proposed Education Budget in Wisconsin and the SAGE and Voucher Programs

Punishing Success: The Governor's Proposed Education Budget in Wisconsin and the SAGE and Voucher Programs

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