NO, this bill is NOT good for Idaho Children
Idaho Children are Primary (ICAP) believes in promoting public policy that will benefit (and not harm) our
most precious resource, our children. 94% of students attend public school in Idaho. Handing out taxpayer
money to be used as private ESA/vouchers will drain money away from public schools, is not fiscally
conservative, and will cause more property tax increases.
Evidence from Indiana and Louisiana shows that student achievement is not enhanced by ESA/vouchers; in
fact, students who received ESA/vouchers earned lower test scores than their peers who did not receive
We need to fully fund our public schools that support all students in the current programs (traditional, charter,
magnet, on-line virtual, CTE, Gifted & Talented, etc..), and make them more accessible to rural communities
who have limited resources. Rural areas often have ONE choice of school – their public school, and having
ESA/vouchers to spend at private schools is not an option.
Public schools are accountable to their locally elected school boards for teacher qualifications and
certifications, curriculum and resource materials, and student achievement. They cannot discriminate and they
must educate all children.
This is not true of private educational entities who take taxpayer funds in the form of ESA/vouchers. They are
accountable to no one for teacher quality, curriculum, or student achievement. They can be
selective/discriminating in whom they accept, and they have no obligation to provide education for all students
who show up at their doors.
Even though there is a limit of 2,000 students receiving $6,000 each academic year, with income testing, this
program is the initial foot in the door to expand public funding of a private system. In no other state has a
similar program remained “limited”, either by income or by “first come, first served” basis. Most states have
added hundreds of millions of dollars to their budgets for payments to private and religious education. If we
allow “private” school ESA/Vouchers, then we cannot exclude religious private schools, per SCOTUS, which is
unconstitutional in Idaho.
We believe there should be NO public funding of private education.
Over 80% of Idahoans voted in support of the Legislature’s education funding bill that passed last fall.
Do what’s best for Idaho’s children by fully supporting and funding public schools.