The American Association of University Women (AAUW) writes:
Time and time again, evidence shows that private school vouchers do not improve student performance and instead take away precious taxpayer dollars – estimated at more than $1 billion in one year alone – from public schools.
Even worse: Admissions policies at private and religious schools can discriminate on the basis of gender, special needs, income, behavioral history, prior academic achievement, standardized test scores, and more. Private and religious schools can also choose not to employ teachers and other education professionals for discriminatory reasons such as religion, gender, and sexual orientation.
Schools that use our federal taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be allowed to violate the civil rights laws that many of us fought so hard to enact. That’s why your voice is needed today to defeat school voucher proposals!
To be clear, the House education bill (H.R. 5) is still a bad bill that would virtually eliminate federal efforts to narrow the achievement gap and remove mechanisms that hold states accountable for billions of federal education dollars – yet adding voucher amendments would make H.R. 5 even worse.
Instead of funneling federal taxpayer dollars to private schools, Congress should invest these funds in public schools that serve ALL students regardless of gender, disability, economic status, or educational achievement.
We need an education policy that moves us forward, not backward. We need an education bill that improves public education for ALL our students. We need your representative to reject H.R. 5 and the harmful voucher amendments to the bill.
Rep. Reed’s position on H.R. 5 is unclear; presumably, he will vote with the GOP leadership on this bill and amendments. Time will tell. However, Rep. Reed wrote:
I firmly support the Tenth Amendment and will fight to restore local control to our school districts. Standards and curriculum should be set by states and local educators. The federal government does not know better than those who work with our children every day. We must place more responsibility on parents and empower them to really get involved in their children’s education. They should have a larger role in selecting and participating in the learning environment that works best for their family. Another important point is allowing teachers to teach by removing red tape. We need to let them teach according to their students’ needs and do so creatively.
If Reed really supports local control of schools as he says, he ought to be opposed to charter schools and public funding for private schools which operate independently of local school boards.