Contact FreedomWorks

400 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite 765
Washington, DC 20001

  • Toll Free 1.888.564.6273
  • Local 202.783.3870

All the Latest

    Everything
  • Blog
  • Events
  • Press
  • Key Votes
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Tweets
  • Photos

About

Nobel Laureate, Parents Testify at Rowdy Vouchers Hearing
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Nobel Laureate, Parents Testify at Rowdy Vouchers Hearing

BY Connie Mabin

Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman, who advocates the use of taxpayer-funded vouchers for use in private schools, was among those who testified Tuesday at a rowdy House committee hearing on school vouchers. Friedman, a Stanford University economist, was invited to speak at the House Public Education Committee by its chairman, Rep. Kent Grusendorf. Grusendorf, R-Arlington, has filed a bill that would establish laws authorizing government money for low-income parents who transfer their children from public to private schools. Such a system is commonly referred to as "school vouchers" or "school choice." Grusendorf calls them "freedom scholarships." Friedman said he believes the American public education system has worsened over time, particularly in poor areas, and blames what he calls a government monopoly and powerful teachers unions. "The government provides food stamps but it doesn't run grocery stores," he said. Friedman called Grusendorf's proposal the nation's most broad attempt to use vouchers for public education. "It's the system, not the people" making children fail, Friedman said, and competition would demand improvement in all schools. The audience often erupted in applause and let out loud hoots when supporters voiced agreeable statements. More than 100 people signed up to testify. Dozens of children and parents supporting vouchers wore bright blue T-shirts declaring: "school choice works." But there were vocal opponents, too, including dozens of educators and Sam Smoot, executive director of the Texas Freedom Network. She's opposed to using taxpayer money in schools that don't have to follow the same laws meant to ensure equality and separation of church and state. Texas State Teachers Association President Donna New-Haschke said it's not the time to try vouchers with nearly $3 billion in proposed budget cuts to public education. "We simply cannot afford using tax dollars to fund the interest of private schools when our students are being told to wait for new textbooks, our teachers are facing cuts in health insurance and highly touted programs like master math teachers programs are on the chopping block," New-Haschke said. On the other side, Peggy Venable of Citizens for a Sound Economy said she was disgusted that teachers appeared to be more interested in their own financial future than children's education. "I believe that parents deserve the freedom to choose," Venable said. If public schools fear mass exodus of students because of vouchers, that proves there is a problem, she said. Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, said he was concerned that the bill did not prohibit religious or gender discrimination. Grusendorf said it prohibited discrimination against race and national orientation. Also, he said, critics must trust parents to select a school that's best for their children. William Bryant, a pastor from Dallas, said vouchers would empower parents, particularly minority or poor parents. "We say yes to it because we believe it's time for real freedom in education for all of the children in Texas," he said. Texas lawmakers, under pressure from teachers unions and 1,100 school districts, have consistently rejected legislation calling for a voucher experiment in selected urban counties. This session is likely to be different in the GOP-dominated Statehouse, however, because Republicans House Speaker Tom Craddick, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry all support a pilot voucher program. Under Grusendorf's legislation, the program for children of low income families would be limited to the state's largest school districts, where enrollment tops 40,000 and a majority of students are eligible for the federal free and reduced priced lunch programs. Eleven public school districts would be initially affected: Aldine, Alief, Houston, Pasadena, Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Brownsville, El Paso and Ysleta. In 2005, local school boards could vote to allow any district to participate. The private schools that accept the vouchers would be required to make tests scores public, a provision critics said is bad because the public has no say in what kind of test. Public schools would continue to receive some funding for students who choose to use a voucher, including about 10 percent of the value of the voucher. Private schools would receive 90 percent of the voucher or the school's average annual cost per student, whichever is less.

03/18/2003
Will He Bust Up a Real Monopoly?
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Will He Bust Up a Real Monopoly?

On Monday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his choice for Chancellor of New York City’s public schools – Joel Klein. The former Justice Department antitrust chief prosecutor now runs a huge monopoly. Will he break it up?

07/30/2002
A Victory for 'Ordered Liberty'
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

A Victory for 'Ordered Liberty'

As published in The Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2002

07/01/2002
Empower America Applauds Supreme Court Ruling In Historic School Choice Case
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Empower America Applauds Supreme Court Ruling In Historic School Choice Case

Today the United States Supreme Court made history. It ruled on the most important education case since Brown v. Board of Education. In its ruling, the right of children in Cleveland to attend schools that offer a quality education, and the right of parents elsewhere to have a choice in the education of their children, were upheld.

06/27/2002
Empower America Applauds Supreme Court Ruling In Historic School Choice Case
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Empower America Applauds Supreme Court Ruling In Historic School Choice Case

Today the United States Supreme Court made history. It ruled on the most important education case since Brown v. Board of Education. In its ruling, the right of children in Cleveland to attend schools that offer a quality education, and the right of parents elsewhere to have a choice in the education of their children, were upheld.

06/27/2002
Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic — For Teachers
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic — For Teachers

As the Supreme Court struggles with the constitutionality of school choice, the case for competition simply becomes stronger. Like any monopoly, the public school system behaves in ways that harm consumers. Unfortunately, in this case that means parents and their children, who are forced to attend schools where they have little input or control. Street addresses, not quality assessments, are the determining factor for most families when it comes to education.

06/25/2002
Let Freedom Ring
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Let Freedom Ring

Much will be written and said over the coming days about the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the Cleveland school voucher case, Zelman v. Simmons-Harris. There will be important commentary about the legal issues surrounding the case, and plenty of political analysis. Education analysts will talk of school performance, budgets, and spending levels. All of it will be interesting and important, but may miss the fundamental principle and issue at stake – FREEDOM.

06/25/2002
With All Due Respect
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

With All Due Respect

Parents, children and taxpayers won a small but important victory late last week when the Chicago School Board announced it would close three “chronically failing” public elementary schools.

04/16/2002
Spring Break
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Spring Break

Congress has recessed for Easter and Passover and most school children across America have a break in classes to celebrate the holidays. The biggest Supreme Court decision relating to education since Brown vs. Board of Education is expected within a few months. The federal government has just expanded its role and funding for K-12 education in America. At the same time, most states and local governments are at least looking to freeze spending after years of big increases because state and local budgets are coming up short.

03/26/2002
Why Cleveland needs school choice
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Why Cleveland needs school choice

 I would like to commend Robert Holland's outstanding column, "Hearts, minds, and vouchers," in your Feb. 19 Commentary section. But I would like to expand on his depiction of Cleveland schools.

02/23/2002

Pages