AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, the revival of the voucher movement in several states represents the same kind of disturbing attack on public education as tuition tax credits; and

WHEREAS, by encouraging selective admissions practices, vouchers foster ethnic and racial segregation; and

WHEREAS, the creation of a voucher system would encourage an exodus of students from our public schools and at the same time promote growth of private schools that need not meet public school standards for staff and resources; and

WHEREAS, such private schools can escape the mandates of laws and court decisions requiring the public schools to provide education for the handicapped, compensatory education, desegregation, due process procedures, education for non-English speaking students, and many others; and

WHEREAS, vouchers will make possible the creation of public schools which concentrate on one point of view, or which cater to single ethnic groups and social classes; and

WHEREAS, such fragmentation of our public school system will threaten its historic role in fostering academic freedom, social tolerance and economic mobility; and

WHEREAS, to make education purely a matter of parental choice irresponsibly ignores the central importance of professional knowledge and skills; and

WHEREAS, for all these reasons a voucher system would limit student opportunity and thereby weaken the role of public education as the foundation of our democratic system:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers reaffirm its total opposition to voucher systems; and

RESOLVED, that we launch a campaign to oppose the dangerous voucher movement now emerging in California, the site of this 1979 convention.