Background information on Voucher Expansion:
Just Say No to Voucher Expansion by Barbara Miner in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The School Voucher Scam by Joel McNally in the Shepherd Express
Additional thoughts by ILMPS member Karyn Rotker:
1) Voucher schools, overall, perform WORSE than MPS. If you exclude special education students (see #2) the performance gaps are even greater, with MPS performing significantly better than the voucher schools. For example, only 35% of non-disabled voucher students are proficient in math while 58% of the non-disabled MPS students are.
2) The voucher program is leading to the concentration and segregation of students with disabilities within MPS. The voucher schools don’t have to (and don’t) serve any meaningful number of students with disabilities. Only about 1 1/2% of voucher students have disabilities. About 19% of MPS students do. Expanding the voucher program will make this much worse.
3) There is a “voucher tax” on city of Milwaukee taxpayers AND a funding formula that penalizes Milwaukee taxpayers. State law forces MPS to levy a property tax - not for the use of MPS itself, but to turn over to the voucher program. And there’s the double slap in the face, that state law uses the voucher program to make MPS taxpayers seem wealthier than they are. Here’s how it works: when figuring out state aid, a district’s property wealth (its tax base) is divided by the number of school children, and the amount of state aid is pegged to the per-child wealth. But even though Milwaukee taxpayers PAY for them, the voucher students don’t count for state aid. What does that mean? You take all of Milwaukee’s property wealth and divide it by the 80,000 (or so) students attending MPS - NOT by the 100,000 students attending MPS + vouchers. Thus, it appears that there’s more money per student in Milwaukee - because the voucher children aren’t counted. Yet, as noted above, Milwaukee taxpayers still are taxed to pay for the voucher students.
Teaching & Curriculum Resources
Teaching Voting Rights: lessons, charts and user’s guide in Fulfilling the Promise of America: The Struggle for Voting Rights.
Social Justice Teacher Organizations
Teacher Action Group (TAG)
New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE) - New York
Progressives Engaged in Struggle Support Network (PrESS Network) - Louisville, Kentucky
Coalition of Radical Educators (PhillyCoRE) - Philadelphia
Portland Areas Rethinking Schools (PARS) - Portland, Oregon
Literacy for Social Justice Teacher Research Group (LSJTRG) - St. Louis
Education Not Incarceration (ENI) - Oakland, California
Puget Sound Rethinking Schools - Seattle
Teachers for Social Justice (TSJ) - Chicago
Teachers for Social Justice (T4SJ) - San Fransisco area
Rethinking Schools - Milwaukee
Progressive Educators for Action (PEAC) - Los Angeles