Learn about the ‘voucher scam’ in new podcast
Vouchers were killed in the latest Legislative session, but are already back on the docket in HB1 (1). The previous attempt was killed by a bipartisan effort of Dems and rural Republicans in Abbott’s latest special session. Now is a good time to learn about what a disaster vouchers are.
The Mothers for Democracy Institute in October launched two of a planned four-episode podcast entitled “The Voucher Scam” (2). The Mothers for Democracy is the new name for Mothers Against Greg Abbott.
“We want to be for something,” explained Nichole Abshire, vice president of the Mothers for Democracy Institute.
Vouchers are really a money grab disguised as parental choice, the podcast explains.
Remarked Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa, "Billionaire-backed private school voucher scams only exist to give handouts to wealthy families so their kids can keep attending private and religious schools – while working families foot the bill. The MAGA Republican Party of Texas has taken a disturbing step toward overturning our constitutionally mandated education system that serves over 5 million Texas children.”
Mothers for Democracy’s podcast looks to experiences of other states. Vouchers have devastated public education elsewhere, it says.
Arizona vouchers bankrupting state
Look at Arizona’s budget-busting voucher program. The cost of Arizona's eight-month-old universal school voucher program is projected to hit $900 million over the next year. This far exceeds the money budgeted for the program, according to a report by the Arizona Department of Education (3).
Vouchers overwhelmingly fund children who were already in private school. Data from states that have released those numbers — Arizona, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin — show that 75% of voucher applicants came from private schools (4).
The bottom-line: most kids using vouchers didn’t need them to go to private school. Even worse, test scores plummeted for the few kids who actually used vouchers and changed schools. Their decline in test scores was mirrored those seen during the pandemic (4).
The real purpose of vouchers, explained one Voucher Scam commentator, is to “untether us from any sense of place and community.”
The conclusion is clear: School vouchers are bad for public education, and democracy.