Voucher Program has Enough Funds to Clear Waiting List

Posted 1/24/19

Privatizers want us to believe that they need more of our tax dollars to clear the waiting list of parents who want tax-paid vouchers to pay private school tuition for their children.

The fact is that the voucher program has had more than enough money to clear that list. Here’s how…

FACT: Because the voucher program is set up to benefit private schools, not children, less than half of the children given vouchers have used them (44.6%). (Source: Mississippi Department of Education)

FACT: The Mississippi ESA Voucher program has not used all of its funding in any year since the program began. (Sources: Mississippi Department of Education, Mississippi PEER report)

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FACT: If 200 children are on the waiting list, no more than 100 of them can be expected to actually use the voucher, per Mississippi’s voucher history (see Fact #1). Therefore, there has been more than enough money left over each year to provide vouchers for those students.

FACT: The Mississippi Department of Education has held far more lotteries than the one annual lottery the privatizer’s law requires. Still, after giving away the same vouchers again and again, the money remains unspent. Parents reported that they couldn’t use the vouchers because their children are denied admission to private schools, they are not able to find a private school that meets their children's needs, or they can not afford the tuition/fee balance at the private school. (Sources: Mississippi Department of Education, Peer report)

For more, see Facts: MS ESA Voucher Program