Members of the Northwest ISD board of trustees unanimously approved a resolution opposing school vouchers during their regular meeting April 10.

In giving the reasoning for the resolution against vouchers, `Anne Simpson, president of Northwest ISD board of trustees, read the resolution aloud to the audience. Components of the resolution include:
  • Whereas, education savings accounts and other voucher schemes give private schools, not parents, the right to choose;
  • Whereas, private schools are not required to meet the same academic standards as public schools, and they do not report test results, graduation rates, and other performance measures to the public;
  • Whereas, education savings accounts and similar voucher schemes eliminate public accountability of schools and tax dollars;
  • Whereas, using tax dollars to pay for tuition at private and religious schools would grow into a costly entitlement program; and
  • Whereas, Texas parents who accept a voucher would lose out on a long list of important parental rights outlined in Texas state education code and in federal law, especially protections for students receiving special education services.
The idea of using school vouchers has become a contentious issue in the Texas Legislature during this season. According to prior Community Impact reporting, a proposal to use state money to help parents pay for private schools was approved by the Texas Senate on April 6. Senate Bill 8, by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, would create an education savings account program, commonly known as private school vouchers. Parents who pull their children out of public schools could receive $8,000 per student to help send them to private schools. The money, which would come from taxes paid to the state, could be used to cover private school tuition or other educational expenses, such as textbooks or transportation.

While Superintendent Mark Foust is not a voting member of the board of trustees, he did offer his take on the state of vouchers in Texas.

“Public school systems do not support taxpayer dollars going to private schools for tuition,” Foust said.

He went on to mention that several groups such as Texas PTA and Texas State Teachers Association also oppose vouchers and education savings accounts.

“Northwest ISD will continue to oppose the concept of vouchers, and we are aligned with a number of prestigious organizations across Texas that feel that same way,” Foust said.