Letter to the editor: School voucher push is devious

To the editor:

It’s good news that Kansas Republican legislators are having trouble realizing their plans for tax waivers (vouchers) for private schools and homeschooling.

Despite their claims that it’s intended to improve learning, there’s little evidence that such measures will have that effect. This is especially true in math and science, where private institutions and homeschool parents typically do worse than public schools. This is mainly because well-trained and highly effective educators in these fields are costly, often with other employment options. But conservative legislators are primarily motivated by lowering school funding and paying teachers less, not raising achievement.

Private schools and homeschooling will not be subject to accountability testing (state mandated assessments), so the public won’t know if waivers do in fact improve education. In other words, the issue will be swept under the rug, and public schools will get less tax support as enrollment drops — as we see in Lawrence today. Tying special education funding and teacher pay to waivers, as currently proposed, is a transparent attempt to advance privatization under the cloak of support for public education. Altogether, it’s yet another devious chapter in the recent history of Kansas politics, antics that voters should not stand for.

John L. Rury,



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