Protect Idaho’s Public Schools

From Private School Vouchers

Vouchers are harmful to students and public education. Idaho kids deserve better.

How Will Private School Vouchers Hurt Idaho Students and Schools?

  • Vouchers will divert money away from already under-resourced public schools
  • Private schools are not accountable to taxpayers
  • Public schools welcome all students–private schools can deny admission and discriminate
  • Vouchers will shift money from rural public schools to urban private schools
  • Vouchers will mean higher taxes or reduced resources for public schools

Joint statement opposing private school vouchers in our state

The Idaho Education Association, the Idaho School Boards Association, and the Idaho Association of School Administrators have issued a joint statement opposing private school vouchers in our state. “The IEA, ISBA, and IASA urge Idaho citizens to reject private school voucher plans which would compromise our public schools’ ability to serve students and communities in our great state.”

How does your legislator feel about sending public tax dollars to unmonitored and unaccountable private schools?   Ask them at their next meeting in your community.  Let them know that you and your neighbors support your local public schools and don’t want to see them hurt by this idea.

Rural Schools Would be Particularly Hard Hit

  • Rural schools would be decimated by reductions to Idaho’s general fund, which is the primary source of public school funding
  • The vast majority of Idaho’s rural communities do not even have a private school
  • Many rural districts are already running “supplemental” levies, and we can’t ask these communities to shoulder even more of a tax burden
  • Tax dollars from residents in these areas should not go to support something they can’t take advantage of

Learn Voucher Basics:

Vouchers and Tax Credit Scholarships in the U.S.

The future of public education in the United States is at a critical crossroads. Watch this video to learn how the growing trend of sending public money to private schools through vouchers and tax credit scholarships threatens public education.

Private School Vouchers Syphon Resources Away from Public Schools

  • Idaho is already 49th of 50 states in per pupil spending and can’t afford to have more public money syphoned off
  • Public tax dollars should not be used to pay for students to attend private schools
  • We should focus on investing in public schools, where 97% of Idaho children go, not on diverting money to the 3% who attend private schools
  • Idaho can’t afford to support two education systems—one public and one private

97% of our nation's students attend public schools.

We should continue to invest in their educations in our neighborhood public schools. Taxpayers cannot afford to fund two school systems, but voucher programs do exactly that: strip resources from the vast majority of our students in a risky bid to fund the 10 percent of students who attend private schools.

Private Schools Lack Accountability, Access, and Opportunity

  • Private schools are not accountable to taxpayers
  • Private schools are not required to provide services like meals, transportation, and special education services, so most do not
  • Public schools welcome all students and strive to serve and educate each one
  • Private schools can reject students based on economic status, academic achievement, disabilities, English proficiency, immigration status, sexual orientation or gender

View these stories about vouchers

happy-sad cubes

On negative effects of vouchers

Participation in a voucher program does not improve student achievement, and may indeed impair academic performance. In Indiana and Louisiana, students who received vouchers had lower test scores than their peers who stayed in public school.
Read story
MEP Region 6

A Case Study for Betsy DeVos's Educational Utopia

After a voucher program was enacted in Nevada, research showed that the majority of applicants to the program were students from wealthy ZIP codes who already had access to top performing public schools.
Read story

Vouchers and Public School Performance

In instances where programs have seemed successful on the surface, digging deeper shows that improved student performance is sporadic, at best, with research pointing toward the need for more concrete evidence.
Read story

The Promise And Peril Of School Vouchers

The reality is vouchers won’t go to the children that need the most help anyway. Places that are experimenting with vouchers revealed many students who receive them are already attending private schools.
Read story

Higher Taxes? Or Less Money for Public Schools?

  • There are only two options if money is diverted from Idaho’s general fund—raise taxes to bridge the gap, or reduce resources for public schools, students, and teachers
  • Voucher schemes are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Whether they are called education savings accounts (ESAs), tuition tax credits or any other innocuous name, the bottom line is the same—they take taxpayer money from public schools to use in private and parochial schools

What do our best public schools look like?

They have certified teachers, caring and supportive staff who create a welcoming environment for students and families, qualified counselors who help students flourish, classes that offer college credit, band, theater, athletics, science labs, foreign languages, robotics and much more. Let’s invest in making all of our public schools look like this rather than private school vouchers than only help a select few. Good public schools can unlock students potential and prepare them for lifelong success.

Support Idaho! Support Public Education

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