Exclusive: Independent Review of ESSA Plans Rates States Strong on Accountability, Weak on Counting All Kids

Report: High Schoolers Motivated to Learn, but Varying Engagement Levels Point to Need for Tailored Instruction

New Research: Louisiana Voucher Results Swing Upward

Georgia High Court Rejects Challenge to School Tax Credit Program as Private School Choice Debate Rages

Supreme Court Sides With Preschool in Church/State Funding Dispute, Limits Decision to Playground

Hidden Costs of Senate Health Care Bill: Uninsured Kids Do Worse in School, More Likely to Drop Out

New Study Ranks States on How Well They Help Homeless Students. Where Does Your State Rank?

This Week’s ESSA News: Pointed Feedback on Federal Feedback, as Iowa, Idaho, Georgia, W. Virginia Post Plans

What Monday’s SCOTUS Ruling in Trinity Lutheran Preschool Case Could Mean for School Vouchers

74 Interview: Rep. Virginia Foxx on Better Career and Technical Education, ‘An Idea Whose Time Has Come’

House Reauthorizes Career and Tech Ed Bill While Members Speak Out Against Trump Funding Cuts

Weekend Education Reads: 8 Important Stories on Students & Schools You May Have Missed This Week

Analysis: The Fierce Fight Over Mayoral Control Reflects De Blasio’s Weakness on Education

Delaware Lawmakers Mull Nixing State Board of Ed to Help Ease Budget Crisis

College Presidents Slowly Becoming More Diverse but Still Mostly White Men in Their 60s

Report: For $42 Per Pupil, Districts Can Build Principal Pipelines and Get Better School Leaders

Come Together: New Poll Finds High Bipartisan Support for Improving Early Education

When Communities Secede From School Districts, Inequity & Segregation Follow. But 30 States Let It Happen Anyway

Georgia Special Election Makes American History; Voters’ Education Marks the Race’s Significance

Bror Saxberg, All-Star Learning Scientist, Joins Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

American Federation of Teachers President Says She Might Team Up With Charter Supporters to Oppose Vouchers

Photo Credit: C-SPAN

May 14, 2017

Talking Points

New @ap feature says teachers unions teaming up with charter school supporters to fight Trump on vouchers

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

The Associated Press published an extensive education feature over the weekend, spotlighting how the push to expand school voucher programs both federally and among state legislators is pitting supporters of the public charter school movement against their former school choice allies.

One notable section from the Geoff Mulvihill feature, which you can read in its entirety here: “The appointment [of Betsy DeVos] opened a philosophical schism that now threatens to shatter the [school choice] alliance, turn billionaires against each other and possibly lead some school-choice advocates to join with teachers’ unions, their archenemies...

“The movement has been cleaved into two camps: those who want to use choice to improve public schools and others, like Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who want to go further by allowing tax money to flow to private schools through vouchers, government-funded scholarships or corporate tax credits. The differences that once seemed minor are at the heart of a potential seismic shift in the school-choice movement.” (Read the full story)

Surveying the post-inauguration political landscape, Mulvihill notes several new fissures and fractures (“in the past, [philanthropic] contributions have flowed to reform-minded groups regardless of whether they supported public charter schools, vouchers for private schools or a combination. Now those funders are beginning to split into competing camps”), as well as the surprising rise of new coalitions:

"The American Federation of Teachers has had conversations with some charter school advocates it has opposed in the past about coordinating to fight a national voucher program, said Randi Weingarten, president of the union.”

The article doesn’t specify which charter school supporters the union has engaged with, nor how far this coordination has progressed. But if the Trump administration does move forward with a proposal to greatly expand the funding of voucher programs while slashing funds to public schools, education reformers may find themselves squeezed into picking a side. 

Read the full AP feature and see our explainer — 13 Things to Know About Charter Schools. (Get more info about traditional public schools, public charter schools, and the Trump administration’s plans for education delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for The 74 Newsletter.)