Pulaski Citizen
PULASKI WEATHER

Letter: ‘School Vouchers Hurt Public Education’




As a concerned constituent in Giles County, I am writing to express my strong opposition to Gov. Bill Lee’s expansion of school vouchers and their potential impact on our educational system here in Giles County.

In our rural community, the impact of school vouchers on our public schools is of great concern. School vouchers, often touted as a means to provide choice and improve education, would divert public funds away from our already underfunded public schools. These public funds are then funneled into private institutions, ultimately undermining the very foundation of our public education system. The consequence? An exacerbation of educational inequality.

While Gov. Lee touts that expansion of vouchers would improve education outcomes, we know that this simply is not true. First, vouchers lack accountability. While our local public schools must meet strict accountability standards (i.e., TCAP testing), private institutions receiving voucher funds often operate with little to no oversight or accountability. No accountability means that we wouldn’t be able to understand if vouchers are improving education outcomes or not. Second, even when we have had accountability data, there is ZERO evidence that vouchers improved educational outcomes in any state that has implemented them; in fact, data suggests that students were actually negatively impacted as a result of vouchers.

Last, vouchers disproportionately benefit wealthy individuals and private schools. By giving a(nother) handout of taxpayer money to these groups, you risk exacerbating the already existing gaps between these groups and those in our local schools.

Given all of this, I respectfully urge Sen. Hensley and Rep. Doggett to oppose Gov. Lee’s legislation advocating the expansion of school vouchers, and encourage my fellow citizens to reach out to their representatives and urge them likewise. Our public education system needs robust support and investment to ensure equitable opportunities for all students, like the ones in our rural communities.

I appreciate your attention to this critical matter and kindly request that you consider the impact of school vouchers on our community and the future of education when making decisions.

School vouchers hurt public education. Our children and teachers need and deserve a well funded public educational system.

Sincerely,

Mike Cesarini,

205 Old Agnew Road

Pulaski, TN 38478