So-called Education Savings Accounts, reportedly under consideration by Republican legislators, are just another “back-door scheme” to take money away from neighborhood public schools, WEAC President Ron Martin said Thursday.
“Education savings accounts literally take money out of our neighborhood public schools and hand it over to subsidize private tuition, with zero accountability,” Martin said. “Wisconsin students don’t need any more back-door schemes to take funding from our public schools. Public school students already receive less funding than those in private schools. Politicians who turn their backs on the public schools that provide all children with opportunity in return for campaign contributions from voucher lobbyists had better be ready to look parents in their communities in the eye in the next election and explain why local public schools are cutting teachers and programs, while tax dollars go unaccounted for through private subsidies.”
- The state provides more money per-pupil to private school students than it provides per-pupil to public school students. (See table below: Per-pupil support in the table is based on state aid – what the legislature provides, not local taxes.)
- A Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo shows an $800 million price tag for the statewide voucher program through time, funding that will deplete public school aid. In short, the legislature is eroding the foundation of support for public education in Wisconsin.
- “Education Savings Accounts” are another scheme in a wide array of programs harmful to public schools that were enacted over the last five years. These schemes also include tax breaks for private school participants, a statewide voucher system, special education vouchers, takeover policies that allow unelected czars to control public schools, and an expansion of private charters.
Today, more state aid goes to support private students per-pupil than goes to support public school students per-pupil:
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Wisconsin parents could pay for K-12 school expenses – including tuition at private schools – with a taxpayer-funded savings account under a program Assembly Republicans are considering.