Advocacy News

Voucher Scheme Rears Ugly Head in State of the Union Address

DeVos Agenda to privatize schools hurts opportunity, threatens civil rights

Already by far the worst U.S. Secretary of Education in the history of the job, billionaire Betsy DeVos stepped up her agenda to privatize and monetize public education by reviving the idea of destructive voucher schemes that siphon precious public resources to private businesses. Rebranded by President Donald Trump in last night’s State of the Union as “opportunity scholarships,” the scheme is just another voucher program, rejected time and again by voters and exposed in studies as “dangerous” to civil rights.

“Donald Trump once again put the agenda of Betsy DeVos front and center in his State of the Union by renewing his push to divert scarce funding from the public schools that 90 percent of students attend into private school voucher programs,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Our students deserve better than the failed Trump/DeVos education agenda.”

Don’t believe Trump’s hype about the DeVos Agenda for privatizing schools. The facts are indisputable: #VouchersCostKids, taking precious resources from neighborhood public schools, hurting students and leaving them with less opportunities. This is yet another attempt by DeVos to redirect public education money to private businesses under the guise of helping underserved students.

“Instead of voucher schemes that hurt students, let’s give our public schools the resources they need, smaller class sizes and more student support services,” said CTA President E. Toby Boyd. “After years of chronic underfunding, it’s time to put #SchoolsAndCommunitiesFirst!”

The Schools and Communities First (SCF) initiative will close corporate tax loopholes and reclaim $12 billion every year for public education, community colleges and local services. This will start to undo four decades of disinvestment in our students, communities and shared prosperity.

“If we’re serious about every child’s future, let’s focus on what works: Resourcing public schools so students have inviting classrooms, supported educators, small class sizes and wraparound services like healthcare, nutrition and after-school programs,” said Boyd, who penned a column for EdSource on the opportunity to deliver world-class education and thriving communities.

Spread the word about SCF and the fight for the resources our schools and communities need! Resources, posters and other information are available for easy sharing with your networks and on social media. Let’s shout out proud why we’re putting #SchoolsAndCommunitiesFirst!

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