A school voucher proposal derailed this year’s budget. What makes it so controversial?

Critics and supporters of school vouchers break down the controversy surrounding the lifeline scholarship program.

by Lajja Mistry, PublicSource

School vouchers have always been controversial. 

Critics see voucher programs as taking money from underfunded and inequitably funded public school districts and allocating it to private or religious schools. For supporters, vouchers are a “game changer” that would allow students to move out of failing public school systems. 

This year, a voucher proposal took over state budget talks, becoming a major issue of contention between Democrats and Republicans. The particular voucher proposal, introduced in the last legislative session, was a $100 million public spending program to provide scholarships to eligible students in “low-achieving” public schools and pay for tuition, fees and special education costs to attend non-public schools of their choice. 

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