Vouchers badReaders' Forum
The Andy Harris school voucher bill (HR 610), the most disturbing change will be a serious reduction in money for our public schools and any parent or grandparent should be very concerned.
While the option of vouchers for private schools may seem tempting for some, recent reports on these programs attempted in other states have not been good. On Feb. 28, 2017, the LA Times reported in an article by Michael Hiltzig that “New studies report devastatingly bad results for students in those voucher programs.”
Funding in statewide voucher programs in Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana found huge declines in academic achievement for the students in those programs. In Louisiana, students performing at average levels in math and reading fell 24 percentile points in math and eight points in reading (reported a team comprised of UC Berkeley, Duke and MIT experts).
Ohio’s voucher students performed far worse academically, reported a study by the Fordham Institute. Notre Dame released the study on Indiana’s voucher program where it found that students lost ground in math achievement after transferring to private schools.
In addition to poor academic results in voucher programs, it seems that these vouchers are often not being used to benefit public school students after all. They are benefitting families who would have chosen private schools anyway.
The Indianapolis Star reported recently that the majority of students who received vouchers in the 2015-2016 school year had never actually attended public schools previously. The Atlantic reported that a 2015 voucher program in Nevada found most voucher program applicants actually came from wealthy neighborhoods, including those with “high performing” public schools.
So, these voucher programs did not benefit students in poor performing public schools! Wouldn’t it be wiser to spend this money on improving our public schools?
Call or email Rep. Andy Harris, Senators Cardin and Van Hollen, and Gov. Hogan today and let them know what you think about this bill.