WEAC statement on GOP’s push to open another voucher door

WEAC statement on GOP’s push to open another voucher door

So-called ‘Education Savings Accounts’ are another selfish attempt by corporations, politicians to take funding from neighborhood public schools to subsidize private tuition

Wisconsin Republicans are floating the idea of ‘Education Savings Accounts,’ another method to divert funding from public schools and instead use it to subsidize private tuition. In response, the following statement can be attributed to Ron Martin, an Eau Claire social studies teacher and president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council.

“Education savings accounts literally take money out of our neighborhood public schools and hand it over to subsidize private tuition, with zero accountability. Wisconsin students don’t need any more back-door schemes to take funding from our public schools. Public school students already receive less funding than those in private schools. Politicians who turn their backs on the public schools that provide all children with opportunity in return for campaign contributions from voucher lobbyists had better be ready to look parents in their communities in the eye in the next election and explain why local public schools are cutting teachers and programs, while tax dollars go unaccounted for through private subsidies.”

Facts:

  • Per pupil support in table below is based on state aid (what the legislature provides, not local taxes).  The state provides more to private schools per pupil than it provides per pupil to public kids.
  • A Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo shows an $800 million price tag for statewide voucher program through time, funding that will deplete public school aid. In short, the legislature is eroding the foundation of support for public education in Wisconsin.
  • “Education Savings accounts” are another scheme in a wide array of programs harmful to public schools were enacted the last five years. These schemes also include tax breaks for private school participants, a statewide voucher system, special education vouchers, takeover policies that allow unelected czars to control public schools, and an expansion of private charters.

Today, more state aid goes to support private kids per pupil than goes to support public school students. 

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