Without the strong accountability required for public schools, private schools receiving vouchers allow struggling and at-risk students to fall through the cracks
Privatization programs particularly hurt students with disabilities and students in rural communities
(Washington, D.C.) –Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a memo to the Democratic caucus, outlining the repercussions an education privatization agenda would have on students, schools, and communities. As President Trump and Secretary DeVos double down on their privatization agenda, Senator Murray is urging her colleagues to stand up for the high-quality, public schools they worked to invest in and improve in the Every Student Succeeds Act.
“Education is at the heart of true opportunity in our country, and instead of investing in and improving our public schools, President Trump and Secretary DeVos are promoting a privatization agenda that would weaken public schools and hurt our students,” said Senator Murray. “Through the Every Student Succeeds Act, we made a commitment to students and parents that their schools would be held accountable, but the Trump-DeVos privatization agenda undermines this promise. So I am going to keep fighting to invest in strong public education for all students, and I am going to fight as hard as I can against this Administration’s attempt to privatize our public schools and hurt our students.”
In the memo, Senator Murray highlighted some of the most damaging effects privatization efforts, including vouchers, have on students, including lack of accountability and transparency; challenges for rural schools and communities; and inability or unwillingness to protect students’ rights, including students with disabilities.
Senator Murray also outlined her vision of a path forward for improving our schools, which includes investing in neighborhood public schools, promoting community engagement, and ensuring that all public school options for parents adhere to three core principles: civil rights protections for students are not optional, accountability and transparency in all school is essential, and community and parental involvement are key to student and school success.
Senator Murray will expand on her vision for the future of public education later today as the keynote speaker at an event at the Center for American Progress entitled, “Federal Voucher Programs: Implications for Public Schools and Vulnerable Students.”