Continuing to mislabel Education Savings Accounts as “vouchers” likely will not be a winning strategy for Nevada’s teacher unions and their Democrat benefactors in the long run. By agreeing to expand tax-credited Opportunity Scholarships as part of a deal to stonewall ESA funding in the 2017 legislative session, these collaborators likely will only whet parental appetites for full-fledged educational choice not restricted to private-school tuition.
As columnist Victor Joecks noted (“Irony of ESA defeat: Democrats vote to expand school choice,” June 8), Opportunity Scholarships bear closer resemblance to the school voucher system reviled by the union chiefs than do Education Savings Accounts. Both tax-credited scholarships and publicly funded vouchers go to help families choose private schools and pay the tuition.
By sharp contrast, ESAs enable parents to draw from a portion of their share of public-education funding to select from a diverse menu of educational options their children may need, be that tutoring, online instruction, college courses, private schooling or other customized learning services.
Vouchers are about choice of a school. ESAs are about broad educational choice. It is no wonder that the defenders of a monopolistic status quo in education try to dismiss liberating ESAs as just another voucher program.