Despite Evidence They Hurt Children, Trump Touts School Vouchers
Children who use vouchers to attend private schools perform worse on average than their public-school peers
President Donald Trump, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Friday will tout school vouchers under the guise of providing “choice” to students—even as more research emerges that vouchers are no way to help children.
Trump is visiting the St. Andrew Catholic School in Orlando to promote his $20 billion proposal, which would use public education dollars to fund private schools, including religious ones—a tenet of the program that many say is unconstitutional. DeVos in particular is a strong proponent of voucher systems.
Protesters gathered early along his motorcade route Friday, including many members of Florida teachers’ unions. One woman held signs that read “Build schools, not the wall.”
“I know many people want their children to receive a religious education, but wasn’t the Constitution set on the separation of church and state? Why is the federal government giving money to private schools to educate our children? That shouldn’t be their job,” a protester told local media.
Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association (NEA) said in a statement, “For too long, these schemes have experimented with our children’s education without any evidence of real, lasting positive results. The Trump-DeVos agenda does nothing to provide opportunity to all of our students, and that is evident here in Florida.”
Trump’s visit comes amid a growing body of evidence that vouchers harm the students who receive them. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) released a report this week which found that the risks to school systems outweigh the “insignificant gains in test scores and limited gains in graduation rates,” and that cases where individual schools or districts improved were more likely driven by increased public accountability rather than private school competition.
The risks include increased segregation; the loss of a “common, secular” educational experience; and unfair treatment of teachers.
“If we want to give parents a real ‘choice’ of quality schools, we should invest in Despite Evidence They Hurt Children, Trump Touts School Vouchers | PopularResistance.Org: