The Great Lie that is School Choice

The idea that parents should be able to choose which school is best for their child may sound good on the surface. But the people who promote “school choice” have a secret they don’t want you to know…

When it comes to school choice (vouchers for private school tuition), it isn’t parents who do the choosing. Private schools choose their students, not the other way around. 

Public schools work differently. They guarantee a spot for all children in the district, no questions asked.

Not so with vouchers. Parents can apply for and be awarded a voucher in states that allow them, but the private voucher schools can accept or reject any child. And, if the private schools decide at any point that the voucher kids are inconvenient, they can kick them to the curb. Don’t be fooled by the lie of school choice – it’s the schools that get to choose. Click here to read more.

The national privatization agenda is pretty transparent. These big-money corporate types roll into states with an aggressive “school choice” campaign. Here’s their recipe:

  • Create PACS that donate heavily to politicians’ campaigns in exchange for favors on education-related legislation.
  • Join forces with existing groups that have for years lobbied against public education.
  • Fund a PR machine with slick websites and deceptive talking points.
  • Convince elected officials to starve public schools of the resources needed for students to be successful.
  • Demonize public education as a failed system.
  • Distribute misleading propaganda to convince the public to abandon public schools.
  • Push vouchers for un-accountable private academies and for-profit charter schools as the answer to the supposed “failed” system. Click here to read a blockbuster story from North Carolina.
  • Threaten to recruit and fund pro-privatization candidates to run against courageous legislators who stand up for our children and their public schools.
  • Cash in on state funding intended for public schools by redirecting it to corporations to profit billionaire CEOs, some in foreign countries.

The national corporate reform machine is fully operational in Mississippi, and their well-funded allies are hard at work pushing the privatization agenda. 

A favored accusation of this crowd is “our public education system is failing our children.” For politicians, this sweeping generalization typically is code for “we don’t want to devote the resources it takes to improve struggling schools; it’s easier to pass the work off to for-profit companies.” The case against this is presented eloquently in this newspaper column from Texas.

Not in Mississippi

Because of folks like you, who are willing to stand in the gap for our kids and their schools, Mississippi is one of a few states that have stood strong so far against these privatization schemes. We must continue to stand strong.

The privatization pushers are taking the gloves off ahead of the coming legislative session, threatening legislators who have stood courageously alongside pro-public education parents and their kids, and pouring money into the campaign coffers of candidates who are willing to sell out our schools. We’ll need your help to fend off their attacks.

Please thank the legislators who stand up for kids, teachers, and public schools. Let them know that you’ll stand with them, too, and that you’ll remember them in the voting booth next year. We will keep you posted on the latest from the privatization crowd, and together, we’ll keep moving toward a brighter future for our children and our state.

Speaker Gunn's proposed income tax elimination jeopardizes teacher pay raises and school funding far into the future.

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