Tuesday, April 12, 2011

School Voucher Bill Vote Expected as Early as Today

SB 1 came out of Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday, April 11, as amended, by a vote of 15-11. The full Senate could take a vote on the bill as early as TODAY!-- with virtually no time to analyze and understand the amendment that went into the bill on Monday. And certainly no time to get input from the public. You can see what the amended bill looks like here.  The changes made in the amendment on Monday, April 11 are in capital letters. This amendment basically broadens the group of students who would be eligible to obtain vouchers to include "middle class" students instead of low-income students only.  This amenment would create an even greater burden on school districts and property taxes as monies for the school district are funnelled out of the public schools into the private and parochial schools.

THE BEST THING NOW IS TO CALL YOUR STATE AND ASKING THEM TO VOTE AGAINST SB 1 WHEN IT COMES UP FOR A VOTE. I know many of you have sent letters  or made calls to the full Senate.  You can find your Senator by zip code.  Once you find your Senator, link to his/her web page to find the phone number and email or web form.

And here's information to help you make that call:
Additional information is also available at the Pennsylvanians Opposed to School Vouchers website.  Pennsylvania NOW is part of this coalition.

In case you don't have time to review this material before you call your Senator, here are some quick talking points:
  1. School vouchers are clearly unconstitutional under the Pennsylvania Constitution.
  2. Schools accepting the vouchers can discriminate in whom they accept, which could possibly violate the Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act.
  3. Voucher programs provide little to no accountability to Pennsylvania taxpayers.
  4. Vouchers do not improve academic achievement.
  5. Children who remain in the public schools have less funding available for their education.
Thank you for taking action today!

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