Coalition renews opposition to Opportunity Scholarship Act

TRENTON – A coalition of groups opposed to the Opportunity Scholarship Act renewed their stance today as the lame-duck legislative session continues.

The coalition, which includes groups as diverse as the Education Law Center, the NAACP,  the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, and about a dozen others, reiterated its position against the proposal that would provide tax credits to entities that contribute to scholarships for low-income children.

The group, calling itself Our Children/Our Schools, believes the intent is to set up a voucher program in New Jersey.

Among other things, the coalition stated that “We believe the absence of academic and fiscal accountability in private and religious schools, as compared with public schools, makes it impossible to ensure that public money spent there will be used to improve students’ academic experience or achievement.”

In addition, they argue that public dollars should be spent solely for public education; and that studies have shown that voucher efforts have not improved student achievement in other states that have used them.

The Opportunity Scholarship Act – A2810/S1872 – had been working its way through the committee process earlier this year along with other related bills such as S1858/A2806, which would allow conversion of nonpublic schools into charter schools.

Coalition renews opposition to Opportunity Scholarship Act