From the editor: In defense of public education

In 1954, when the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in schools, in Brown v. The Topeka Board of Education gave birth to the concept of education vouchers (vouchers). In many areas, governments closed or abandoned public schools and provided funds for the private education of white students.

Since then, “vouchers” have received different names. These are now called Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs). They allow parents to pick up their children from the public area and receive a contribution of public funds to savings accounts.

This is another form of the same thing: paying private schools with taxpayer money.

In many cases, private schools concentrated in urban centers do not have to hire licensed teachers, have no curriculum requirements, and can choose which students to admit. His accountability system, if it exists, is limited.

The momentum for the privatization of education grew during the presidency of Donald Trump. But it’s still growing even now, in Republican-dominated states.

Low-income families, African Americans and Hispanics have been affected.

Business groups and private school chains are winning, as are their representatives, such as Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a group backed by billionaire Charles Koch.

Research does not show improvement in the level of student learning in these schools.

This process is already part of the ongoing election campaign.

The pandemic has unleashed a “perfect storm” for Republicans in public education, fueling frustration over school closures. They added “culture war” themes, such as teaching about race or the rights of transgender children; Education is currently the focus of Republican election campaigns.

Added to this is the fact that over the years, school districts in many states have cut their budgets, resulting in a deterioration in the quality of education.

Now, Republican governors across the country are putting private savings accounts for education at the center of their legislative agenda.

Last week, Iowa joined West Virginia and Arizona as states giving public money to all unsupervised private school students. no responsibility.

In Virginia, Gov. Glenn Youngkin gained his office by endorsing private education as a “fundamental right” of parents. participate in the upbringing of their children.

This is an attractive argument.

In the state of Florida leading state in privatization since 2014, Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded eligibility for the “voucher”; Meanwhile, the legislature is moving forward with the HB1 Universal Voucher Act, which would require all parents of children in schools to public companies will be eligible to receive this coupon.

In Arizona, then Gov. Doug Ducey signed a similar bill before losing election to the Democrat last November.

In Utah, bill HB215 will do the same. He is facing opposition from teacher unions, school districts. and even parent organizations.

In other states, these programs fell through due to legal obstacles. In Kentucky, the State Supreme Court ruled “educational opportunity bills” unconstitutional. State law, he said, only allows public funds to be spent on public schools. Last year, the Nevada Supreme Court banned the ESA from being on the ballot, calling it an “unfunded mandate.”

In other states, there is protection of public education.

In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz has offered billions to replenish public education budgets, primarily special education and English language teaching services.

In California, the “Public Funding for Religious Education and Other Private Schools” proposal did not receive enough signatures to be placed on the ballot. In New York, as long as new mayor Eric Adams defends charter schools, no privatization efforts are thriving.

In Michigan, the “Let MI Kids Learn” initiative, funded by Trump’s former education secretary, failed. billionaire Betsy DeVos.

The fight to ensure that all children have access to quality education is fierce. This is due to the introduction of state standards and an increase in funds for teacher training; reduce the number of students in the class, expand additional education.

But privatization plans through vouchers they take the best students out of public schools. They use the meager funds of public schools, which serve 90% of students, for private schools, which they are not accountable to taxpayers.

Author: Editorial
Source: La Opinion


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