In Trump’s proposal, the vouchers take the form of $5 billion a year in federal tax credits that would fund scholarships to private and religious schools. The scholarship money would be donated by businesses and individuals, who would then receive federal tax credits on a dollar-for-dollar match. Every dollar of tax credit would be a tax dollar not available for spending on public schools or other public needs.
The proposal, a longtime goal of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, immediately drew opposition from public education advocates, including TSTA President Noel Candelaria and NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia.
Candelaria noted that TSTA has helped to repeatedly defeat “ill-advised voucher schemes in Texas because they would siphon valuable tax dollars from our already underfunded public schools to benefit only a handful of students attending private or religious schools.”
Eskelsen Garcia said: “Tonight, Donald Trump once again put the agenda of Betsy DeVos, the least qualified Secretary of Education in U.S. history, front and center in his State of the Union by renewing his push to divert scarce funding from the public schools that 90 percent of students attend into private school voucher programs.”