The Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to approve a resolution opposing vouchers, taxpayer’s savings grants, tax credits, or any other mechanisms that reduce public education funding during its regular meeting on Feb. 12.
School boards and school districts were asked to voice their concern on funneling public tax dollars into private institutions. The adopted resolution opposes mechanisms that divert tax dollars to privately run schools, which are exempt from state and federal accountability requirements.
The resolution opposing vouchers, taxpayer’s savings grants, tax credits, or any other mechanisms that reduce public education funding includes the points:
- Article 7, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution requires that the Texas Legislature “establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools;”
- The Texas Legislature in the 82nd Special Called Session reduced public education funding by $5.4 billion for the 2011-13 biennium; and
- School districts in the State of Texas have continued to make steady gains in academic achievement and create innovative and effective programs and curricula for all public school students; and
- Unlike private schools, public schools in the State of Texas are held to strict accountability standards in an effort to measure student achievement and academic progress, unlike private and parochial schools which are not required to give state assessments or publish student achievement data; and
- Unlike private schools, public school districts in the State of Texas accept and educate children regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion or academic talents, as opposed to those institutions that are able to reject applicants based on low academic performance, discipline issues or any number of other factors; and
- Vouchers, taxpayer savings grants, and tax credits eliminate public accountability and do not provide all parents and children with school choice; and
- Vouchers, taxpayer savings grants, and tax credits have not been proven effective in improving student achievement and closing the achievement gap; and
- Diverting public money away from public schools is an inefficient use of scarce resources; and
- Vouchers, taxpayer savings grants, and tax credits will not guarantee a competitive, educated workforce to meet the demands of employers in Texas