NAFIS has a longstanding policy of opposing the redirection of public taxpayer dollars outside the public school system, including school vouchers and voucher schemes.
In 2017, legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate proposed turning Impact Aid into an Education Savings Account (ESA) program for military children. ESAs are a form of school vouchers: the legislation would redirect Impact Aid funding from federally impacted districts to parents of some military-connected students to use for home schooling, private schools or other educational expenses. NAFIS worked with a large coalition to push back against this legislation, which was not enacted, and continues to oppose this proposal.
Resources on Impact Aid Vouchers
Coalition for Military-Connected Student Success Opposes New Bill on Education Savings Accounts (5/16/19)
The Coalition for Military-Connected Student Success, an advisory group of organizations (including NAFIS) working to ensure military-connected students have the best educational opportunities possible, opposes H.R. 1605/S. 695, The Education Savings Accounts for Military Families Act of 2019, which would create a new national voucher program for children of active duty service members. The bill places the program within Impact Aid and puts it and other education programs integral to the education of military-connected children at risk.
Letter Opposing Education Savings Accounts for Military Families Act of 2019 (3/18/19)
NAFIS opposes legislation that would insert a new line item for school vouchers for military connected students into Title VII – Impact Aid of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Letter Opposing Impact Aid Voucher Amendment to Defense Authorization Bill (5/17/18)
NAFIS opposes an amendment to the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act that would turn Impact Aid into vouchers, sharing information about the Impact Aid program and detailing the financial and policy ramifications of the proposal.
Statement on Impact Aid Voucher Briefing (4/19/18)
NAFIS summarizes a Capitol Hill briefing during which school district leaders and the National Military Family Association shared how their districts benefit from Impact Aid funding and underscored how redirecting Impact Aid funds into a voucher program would be financially devastating for many school districts.
Q&As ESAs for Military Families Act (4/18/18)
NAFIS explains, in question and answer format, the impact of the plan to redirect funding from Impact Aid into vouchers.
Financial Impact of Military ESAs (Spring 2018)
NAFIS explains the importance of Impact Aid funding and the $450 million cost of proposed legislation to use Impact Aid funding to create a voucher program for military connected students
The Military Coalition Opposition to H.R. 5199, Education Savings Accounts for Military Families Act (4/5/18)
The Military Coalition, which represents 5.5 million current and former service members, urges Congress to support Impact Aid and not divert its funding to a voucher program.
Joint Statement on Repurposing Impact Aid into an Education Savings Account (3/8/18)
NAFIS, the National Military Family Association (NMFA) and the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) oppose legislation that would repurpose Impact Aid into private school vouchers for military connected students.
Joint Statement in Support of Impact Aid (12/13/17)
NAFIS joins military serving organizations in noting that proposals to divert Impact Aid from schools that educate concentrations of military connected students are shortsighted and will reduce opportunities for all students in these school districts, urging Congress to preserve Impact Aid and ensure it is fully funded.
Statement on Impact Aid Privatization Report (10/16/17)
NAFIS Executive Director Hilary Goldmann explains that stripping Impact Aid from public schools to create a new private school voucher program misses the point of Impact Aid and undermines public schools.
Issue Brief on Impact Aid ESAs (Fall 2017)
NAFIS summarizes concerns with privatizing Impact Aid as Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), including that the proposal undermines the education of all students in federally impacted school districts; increases the burden on local taxpayers; decreases accountability to tax payers; and will require some students who use a voucher to forfeit legal protections and educational supports.
Statement on Heritage Proposal to Make Impact Aid An ESA (6/5/17)
NAFIS responds to a policy proposal issued by The Heritage Foundation that outlines turning Impact Aid turned into a private school voucher program, explaining why Impact Aid exists, the schools it benefits and the risks of re-directing the funding to private schools.
Statement Opposing Proposal to Turn Impact Aid into ESA (5/31/17)
NAFIS conveys the importance of Impact Aid to the districts that receive it and notes that using these funds for private school vouchers misses the point and purpose of Impact Aid.
Additional School Voucher Resources
NAFIS-MISA CHOICE Act Position Statement (Updated for the 116th Congress, June 2019)
NAFIS and the Military Impacted Schools Association outline concerns with the Creating Hope and Opportunity for Individuals and Communities through Education (CHOICE) Act, which would establish a new voucher program for military connected students.
NIISA-NAFIS Comments on the Department of Education’s Tribal Consultation on the Office of Indian Education’s Demonstration Grants for Indian Children Program (6/6/19)
NIISA and NAFIS oppose the addition of a priority that would fund private school education, essentially creating a private school voucher funded with taxpayer dollars within this program that would undermine Tribal sovereignty and the public schools that serve the vast majority of American Indian students.
Statement on DeVos’ Remarks on Vouchers for Military Families and the CHOICE Act (4/3/17)
NAFIS and the Military Impacted Schools Association (MISA) have strong concerns about the Secretary of Education’s remarks on extending vouchers to military families and opposes the Creating Hope and Opportunity for Individuals and Communities through Education (CHOICE) Act.
NCPE School Choice Sign-On Letter (2/1/17)
NAFIS joins nearly 50 other organizations on a National Coalition for Public Education letter urging Congress not to move any private school voucher programs forward, arguing that such programs are not proven effective and do not serve the intended recipients any better than public schools.
NCPE DeVos Confirmation Sign-on Letter (1/17/17)
NAFIS joins over 60 other organizations on a letter organized by the National Coalition for Public Education (NCPE) requesting that during the confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, nominee for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, leadership of the Senate HELP committee inquire about her history advocating for the use of public dollars to support private schools and seek clarity regarding her plans to support public education.
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