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Say NO to School Vouchers

A school voucher is a government-funded taxpayer-supported program that pays tuition/fees, and other expenses for a student to attend private school or be homeschooled. Vouchers take critical funding away from our public schools.

Why School Vouchers Are Harmful

Also known as Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs), they are used to funnel public money to private schools, taking resources away from public schools and worsening the education crisis from an already underfunded public school system.

Zero Accountability

Where did our money go? School vouchers hand our taxpayer dollars to private schools and sometimes homeschools with no testing requirements or financial transparency.

Defunding our Public Services

As has been proposed by the Texas Legislature in the past, removing half a Billion Dollars from our state budget every two years will defund our roads, hospitals, and public safety services. 

The Education Crisis

The current education crisis is a result of underfunding and successful attempts to block teacher pay increases. Texas is 46th in overall education and statistics decline every day. School vouchers defund public schools and exacerbate the problem. 

Benefits to the Wealthy Elite

The vast majority of families who will benefit from vouchers already send their kids to elite academies in big cities and suburbs. Even with vouchers, most Texans will not be able to afford private school expenses.

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Legislation

The current legislative status of voucher programs and looking towards the October Special Session:

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In the 88th Legislative Session

When the Texas House of Representatives passed the biennial 2024-25 budget (HB1), during the 88th session, they included an amendment that prevented public funds from being used for private schools. This was a bipartisan effort from Democrats and rural Republicans standing against vouchers.

Republicans Against School Funding

However, millions have been earmarked to fund voucher programs in the future. During the second special session in July, we spent much of our $32.7 Billion surplus paying corporations instead of teachers, and removed school districts' ability to fundraise $6 Billion annually in property taxes. Budget amendments that would have diverted some of the new tax relief toward public school funding were shot down mercilessly by Republicans.

Current Special Session

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See the latest school voucher bill by Representative Brad Buckley. 

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The Reality of Texas Private Schools: Statistics

61%

of Private Schools Are Predominantly White

90%

of American Students Attend Public Schools

3x

Private Schools More Likely to Be Segregated Than Public Schools

80%

of Private Schools Are Religious

Texas is approaching 6 million public school students! We cannot leave Texas kids underfunded and falling behind!

Zero
Accountability for Taxpayer Dollars

Tickets to theme parks and flat-screen TV's are among the approved uses for Florida's voucher program. In Arizona's disastrous voucher rollout, parents are using school vouchers to fund trips to Hawaii and buy trampoline park passes. Follow the links below to read these outrageous stories:

Vouchers For
Disney
Tickets?

Arizona:
A cautionary tale

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To understand just how detrimental this would be for Texans, check out the ways vouchers are failing in Arizona in the news articles listed here.

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School Supply

Reminder!

Religious indoctrination? 

There is nothing to be gained when our public schools continue to suffer and private schools are not held to any state standards, often being religious institutions. Given the First Amendment's freedom of religion, should Texans be paying for institutions that may not reflect their own faiths? 

Racist Origins 

Vouchers were originally proposed by segregationists, aimed to circumvent desegregation and let white students avoid integration orders by attending private schools. Today, they still favor white and wealthy families, leaving students of color and low-income families behind.

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WHY YOU SHOULD CARE:

Effects of an uneducated Texas!

By 2040, the Texas labor force will need 60% of 25-34-year-olds to hold certificates/degrees.

Currently, only about 35% of this group do. It is predicted that technology will replace around 20% of workers with the lowest literacy.​

This will lead to a weak economy with an undereducated workforce, a decreasing tax base, and declining revenues, not to mention rising poverty.​

Rather than funding private institutions with taxpayer money, we should focus on improving the quality of the free public education that our children are entitled to.

Dollar Bills

How Rent Factors Into the
Voucher Issue

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The current housing affordability crisis means that as my parents search for rent that they can afford, I am shuffled around from school to school, creating instability in education during my formative years. And yet, I am not the demographic of people that benefits from vouchers-- all they do is hurt my family and me from all sides.

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When I lack affordable housing, it contributes to my low school performance, which affects all other areas of my life. Why are we ignoring this while making sure that my family's tax dollars go to private schools?

When rent is affordable, stable, and predictable, my family can provide stability for their kids. Many communities offer educational assistance and other services, income-based affordable housing as a resource for local schools. Taking money away from these programs and funneling it into vouchers hurts my family.

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When my parents spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs, they must make hard choices about how to best help me get an education. Why should their hard-earned tax dollars pay for a voucher for someone else's kid to attend a private school?

Impact on School Safety

The state will provide Only $15,000 per campus

and Only $10 per student for school safety funding.

The recently passed HB 3 mandated that there must be an armed person at every school campus in Texas. This can be either a peace officer, a school resource officer, a school marshal or a school district employee. 

This is a woefully inadequate level of funding coming on the heels of a year where republicans chose not to spend any of the $32.7 billion budget surplus on school funding.

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Join Us in Saying No to School Vouchers

Together, we can create a better future for all of our children. Learn about how school vouchers harm our education system and join us in advocating for a strong public education system. Call your representatives and voice your dissent. 

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