Public schools serve as cultural and social hubs in our communities. Taxpayer-funded private schools, designed to benefit only a portion of the district’s students, are contrary to those cultural purposes. Such schools, by diluting the district finances, are divisive to our community. Studies show that voucher-funded schools tend to cherry-pick their students and discriminate on the basis of ability, race, or religion. Also the demands on the parents (added transportation, clothing, and “enrichment” costs) tend to favor the more affluent - those parents that have the luxury of income and schedule flexibility. 

And these studies show that such private schools are held less accountable to state standards, both academic and fiscal.

Now we are having an “emergency” session to refight those proposals that lost in the regular session. The agenda includes a proposal to provide vouchers for parents of special needs children. What the Dallas Morning News calls “...a stealth attack on public school funds...”

This effort to get the “nose of the [voucher] camel into the tent” should be rejected outright. The Governor should be chided for wasting taxpayer funds on an issue that has been roundly rejected by voters and legislators time and again.

Taxpayer funded private schools have no place in any district’s charter to provide fair and equitable education for all students. 

In this special session, let your legislators know that vouchers are not right for your ISD. Contact J.D. Sheffield, (512) 463-0628 and Craig Estes, (512) 463-0130 and tell them to vote against school vouchers. Tell them to vote for ALL our children, not just the select few.

Charles Stonick,