AFT Resolution

OPPOSITION TO VOUCHER SYSTEM

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers recognizes that education generally and urban education in particular are in such a state of crisis, both in terms of the ability to achieve the essential goal of educating children and the ability financially to sustain any program whatsoever, that many children may be denied this right; and

WHEREAS, there is now, because of the general recognition of this crisis, a strong motivation for school boards and administrators to seek ready-made formulae and accept what are in fact gimmicks, rather than face the real issue of teaching and curriculum reform, community control and increased financial commitments; and

WHEREAS, performance contracting, that is, the letting of contracts to perform educational tasks to private industry, tends to abdicate public control of the educational system to corporate interference and open the classroom to the profit-making schemes of big business; and

WHEREAS, performance contracting can violate provisions negotiated by local teacher unions regarding class size, transfer policy, use of non-certificated personnel; and

WHEREAS, performance contracting can eliminate a board of education's responsibility for operating the schools; and

WHEREAS, the educational voucher plan is a system that would provide funds directly to parents (in the amount equal to the sum the school system spends on each child) so the parents may choose the school their child will attend, thereby promoting segregated education; and

WHEREAS, the application of planned programmed budgeting systems represents an attempt to place the onus of the failures of public education upon the classroom teacher and not upon the palpable failure of local, state and national government to give public education the priority it deserves in a democratic society:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers hereby reaffirms its principled opposition to performance contracting, the voucher system, the application of PPBS to the classroom, and all other attempts to undermine or otherwise diminish the role of public education in our society, and further calls upon the President of the United States and his administration in Washington to begin reordering national priorities so that the process of deterioration now taking place in public education be halted and in fact reversed; and

RESOLVED, that the Executive Committee of the American Federation of Teachers further urge state legislators and congressmen to initiate legislation to prohibit the expenditure of federal funds for performance contracting programs.

(1971)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.