NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Union's Death Certificate For Vouchers Premature

November 16, 2000

Defeat of school voucher initiatives in California and Michigan last week prompted the nation's largest teachers' union to declare the voucher movement dead.

But voucher supporters responded, "not so fast." USA Today editorialized, calling the National Education Association's statement "as presumptuous as it is premature."

Limited voucher programs are already under way in some areas, and their success or failure will determine the future of vouchers, supporters say.

  • With its "A+" plan, Florida is keeping the heat on failing public schools and encouraging them to shape up with vouchers worth about $3,400 each to students in schools ranked as failing by the state twice in four years.
  • In the 10-year-old Milwaukee program, serving about 10,000 students, the state protects public schools from funding losses -- thus countering the argument that vouchers will drain off resources from public schools.
  • Wisconsin also maintains separation of church and state by giving tuition money directly to parents to spend on private or religious schools as they wish.

Supporters vow that no election setbacks will erase the gut-level logic powering vouchers nationally.

Source: Editorial, "Voucher Tests Worthy," USA Today, November 16, 2000.


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