WASHINGTON — Republican legislatures have been gutting public education for years, and in the wake of a pandemic that hit schools particularly hard, they have continued their attacks. For example, Republicans in state houses like Pennsylvania, Iowa, Kansas, and Arizona have pushed legislation to siphon money for public education into charter schools, which would exacerbate funding shortfalls across school districts. On the anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, GOP policies are making segregation worse all across the country.
“Republicans are taking aim at our childrens’ futures as they continue to rob the cradle and gut public education in state legislatures across the country,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee president Jessica Post. “At a time when working families are just starting to figure out how to get their kids back to school this fall, Republicans are attacking opportunities for educational attainment. Democrats are safely reopening schools and investing in America’s future, while Republicans are gung-ho on making life even more difficult for families.”
In many states, critical investments are being cut by Republicans. Here are just a few examples:
- This year, Arizona Senate Republicans passed legislation to massively expand a school voucher program that moves money away from public education, exacerbating inequality and segregation in the state, just a couple years after voters repealed a similar measure. This move comes after a decade of public schools in Arizona enduring billions of dollars in budget cuts.
- Pennsylvania Republicans stood in the way of expanding funding for education this year, and by flat-funding education, have effectively cut investments in Pennsylvania’s future at a time when schools need money to support students as they transition back into in-person learning.
- In Iowa, Republicans pushed a bill to take millions of dollars away from public schools to try and fund charter and private schools, making education less accessible. Public schools that working families depend on would lose $2.1 million in the first year of the program, and $3.8 million by the third year.
- Kansas House Republicans tried to create a voucher program that would siphon hundreds of millions of dollars away from public schools. This harmful measure plays politics with childhood education in Kansas.