The NEA Opposes School Vouchers

The NEA Opposes School Vouchers

A Chapter by Debbie Barry

An essay about the National Education Association (NEA)'s opposition to allowing school vouchers to pay for school choice. Written for EDU 108: Introduction to Policy & Education.


The NEA Opposes School Vouchers



The National Education Association (NEA), which is recognized as “the voice of education professionals” ("NEA's Vision, Mission,…," n.d., para. 1), advocates against the adoption of school vouchers because the voucher system is effective only for higher income students and because it uses money to provide those students with school choice at the expense of the many children from lower income households whose public schools receive reduced funding due to vouchers (“NEA on Vouchers: Opposed,” n.d.).

With the declining quality of public schools in many regions of the United States, parents, educators, and administrators are seeking options to “prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world” ("NEA's Vision, Mission,…," n.d., para. 3).  School vouchers “redirect the flow of education funding, channeling it directly to individual families rather than to school districts” (Coulson, 1998, para. 1) in an effort to provide greater school choice to the families that receive them.  While the need to improve education in the United States is widely acknowledged, “[t]he school choice movement is divided over tactics and faces enormous establishment resistance” (“Teachnology,” n.d., para. 3), including the opposition of the NEA. 

By opposing school vouchers, the NEA maintains the balance of theory, practice, and power in its position.  The NEA’s position maintains the balance of theory and practice by supporting equality in education and by rejecting a policy that would reinforce the stratification of American society by enhancing the privileges of the elite and undermining the education of the disadvantaged.  The NEA maintains the balance of power in its position because it wields its “competent authority” (Fowler, 2009, 30) to “advance the goals of a group … [not] to enhance [the] group’s power” (Fowler, 2009, 46),  to benefit the majority of students in the United States.

The NEA supports the equal education of all students by opposing the school voucher issue and instead supporting “improving the quality of teaching, increasing student achievement and making schools safer, better places to learn” ("NEA's Vision, Mission,…," n.d., para. 11).



Coulson, A. (1998). School vouchers. Retrieved November 20, 2009, from

Fowler, F.C. (2009). Policy Studies for Educational Leaders: An Introduction (3rd ed). Boston:    Allyn & Bacon.

Nea's vision, mission, and values. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2009, from the National   Education Association Web site:

Teachnology. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2009, from http://www.teach-

© 2017 Debbie Barry

Author's Note

Debbie Barry
Initial reactions and constructive criticism welcome.

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Added on November 10, 2017
Last Updated on November 10, 2017
Tags: essay, National Education Association, NEA, education, voucher, school vouchers, school choice, public policy

A Journey through My College Papers


Debbie Barry
Debbie Barry

Clarkston, MI

I live with my husband in southeastern Michigan with our two cats, Mister and Goblin. We enjoy exploring history through French and Indian War re-enactment and through medieval re-enactment in the So.. more..