The Philadelphia Student Union Objects to Vouchers for the Following Reasons…
The Philadelphia Student Union opposes Senate Bill 1, also known as, Opportunity Scholarships, and Educational Improvement Tax Credit (Vouchers) for the following reasons:
Vouchers are about handing taxpayer money to private enterprise. Not about equity for students.
Taxpayer money should stay in our schools and our neighborhoods.
Vouchers will do nothing to improve public education. They will help private schools stay open while our public schools close.
More money will be lost from our public schools that are already under-funded and under attack.
Parts 2 and 3 of the Voucher Bill (SB1) would grant vouchers to students who may already be attending private or high performing schools. This would direct much needed funding to students who don’t need it. Clearly, the real goals of voucher proponents are not about helping students in struggling schools.
Vouchers are not what they appear
Many low-income students are being told that vouchers are their ticket to a better school. For most of us this is an empty promise. The amount of money that a student will receive through a voucher is not enough to afford tuition at most private schools. The majority of low-income families will not be able to make up the difference.
Vouchers leave the majority of us with less resources and further set up our schools to fail.
Vouchers are not a guarantee that we will get a better education. Private and parochial schools are not required to accept us and it is unlikely that they will accept LGBTQ, English Language Learners, or special needs students.
Private and parochial schools can kick students for any reason they want.
Vouchers are unconstitutional.
The Pennsylvania Constitution states, “No money raised for the support of the public schools of the Commonwealth shall be appropriated to, or used for the support of any sectarian school.” This means that the voucher plan is unconstitutional. Governor Corbett cannot pass vouchers; he took an oath to uphold the PA constitution.
Taxpayer money should not be going to schools that have the right to discriminate against students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and those with behavior problems.
Vouchers will gut the public education system. Some people want to take us back to a time before universal public education when you couldn’t go to school unless you could pay for a private education.
Vouchers won’t work. They will make schools more unequal, not less.
Backers of vouchers claim that they will make education in PA more equitable by improving the educational opportunities of disadvantaged students. The reality is that vouchers will make our education more unequal. The majority of us will be left in low performing schools, as funding drains from our schools and enrollment declines.
The way to achieve educational equity is to adequately fund our public schools!