With a voucher bill in the form of tax credits for the wealthy making its way to the Minnesota governor’s desk, your legislators need to hear from you now.
- Vouchers and tax credits have been tried without success in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Studies in several of those places found that students with vouchers for private schools don’t do any better in math and reading than students in public schools.
- Money from vouchers and tax credits are touted as a way of giving low-income families a choice of schools. The truth is, they rarely cover the entire cost of a private education and wind up going to wealthier families who use it to subsidize a choice they could already afford.
- Public schools embrace all students. Private schools do not, turning students away on the basis of faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, health condition and disability. That creates an even bigger divide at a time when our nation needs to remember one of our public schools’ most important lessons: that we’re more alike, than different.
- Private schools are not required to comply with the same teacher standards, licensing, curriculum, reporting and testing requirements as public schools. Nor do they receive sanctions for poor results.
- Vouchers and tax credits conflict with Article 13 of the Minnesota Constitution that prohibits using public money to subsidize religious-based education.
After more than a decade of underfunding, Minnesota’s public schools are already at the breaking point. Taking any more money from them will only further narrow curriculums, increase class sizes, cut critical support staff and worsen a growing teacher shortage.