Vouchers Do Not Work for Students: Resources to Stop Vouchers
PAGE and our members consistently oppose private school vouchers that give public money to private schools. Vouchers have a poor track record on student learning and reduce state funds for public schools. Georgia has two private school voucher programs, which lack necessary accountability and transparency requirements. Lawmakers are pushing for expansion of
HB 54: Seeks to expand the existing tax credit voucher program, which has a current annual price tag of $120 million, to an annual price tag of $200 million. The program lacks transparency and accountability measures, according to a recent audit by the Georgia Department of Audits and Account, which laid out a series of recommendations to bolster legislative oversight. Lawmakers have not acted on the recommendations, but the bill could move at any time.
HB 54 Current status: House Ways & Means Committee
SB 233: Seeks to create a new type of private school voucher—an Education Savings Account or ESA—that would send $6,500 to each participating student every year. The program would join the state’s two existing voucher programs, which carry a combined price tag of about $150 million annually.
Resources to Stop Vouchers
Pushing Private Dollars to Public Schools: PAGE report that examines Georgia’s existing voucher programs, highlighting multiple concerns. Published in 2020 before the passage of SB 47 in 2021.
Audit Report of Georgia’s Tax Credit Voucher Program: State audit of the program, which concluded the program lacks needed transparency and accountability measures and calls on lawmakers to increase legislative oversight.
AJC Article Debunking Efficacy Claims of Tax Credit Voucher Program: Article from Kevin Welner, researcher at the University of Colorado-Boulder and voucher expert, outlining flaws in recent review of Georgia’s tax credit voucher program.
Recent Studies on Poor Academic Achievement among Voucher Students
Multiple analyses of the academic effects of private school vouchers show no positive effect on student learning or, most troubling, a decline in achievement among voucher students.
Summary of voucher research
Louisiana: Study from the University of Arkansas showing large negative effects on student achievement, particularly in math
Ohio: Evaluation from the conservative Fordham Institute found voucher students had lower achievement levels than peers in public schools
Indiana: An analysis from researchers at the University of Kentucky and University of Notre Dame found a loss in math achievement and no effect in reading
Washington, DC: Evaluation of voucher program by Institute of Education Sciences showing no significant effect on student achievement in math or reading
Brief on Vouchers and Special Needs Students: Issue brief from the National Center for Learning Disabilities that explains why vouchers do not serve students with disabilities well.