PSEA President to Lawmakers: Voucher Schemes Don't Work

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PSEA President to Lawmakers: Voucher Schemes Don't Work

For further information contact: 
David Broderic (717) 255-7169
Wythe Keever (717) 255-7107

HARRISBURG (May 24, 2017) - PSEA President Jerry Oleksiak issued the following statement today as the state Senate and House Education Committees held a joint public hearing on tuition voucher-like education savings accounts.

“Here we go again. Before wasting taxpayer money on tuition voucher schemes that are proven failures, lawmakers should make sure that our public schools are fully and fairly funded.

“Six years after our public schools saw their state funding cut by nearly $1 billion, they are almost back to 2011 state funding levels. Now is definitely not the time to divert more state funds from public schools and send it to private schools.

“Tuition voucher schemes have failed in state after state that has tried them. Real-world evidence from Louisiana, Ohio, Indiana, and Washington D.C. shows that students receiving vouchers performed no better than students who did not, and as the New York Times reported earlier this year, performed worse.

“That’s the bottom line here. The kinds of education savings accounts that the Senate and House committees are considering will do nothing to improve public education, where 1.7 million Pennsylvania students are educated. That’s why lawmakers should reject them.”

Oleksiak is a special education teacher in the Upper Merion Area School District. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents approximately 180,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.