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.
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.
List of organizations that oppose private school vouchers
Idaho Education Association
Idaho School Board Association
Idaho Association of School Administrators
Idaho Business for Education
Idaho State Department of Education
Southern Idaho Conference (SIC) Superintendents
American Association of University Women-Idaho
Idaho State Board of Education
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.
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
Private School Vouchers Siphon Resources Away from Public Schools
Idaho is already 49th of 50 states in per-pupil spending and can’t afford to have more money siphoned 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 3% who attend private schools
Idaho can’t afford to support two education systems – one public and one private
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
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 child
Private schools can reject students based on economic status, academic achievement, disabilities, English proficiency, immigration status, sexual orientation or gender
Support Idaho! Support Public Education
Join our list and stay informed on vouchers. Thanks for supporting Idaho public schools!
View these stories about vouchers
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.
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.
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.
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.