WHAT WE NEED TO DO IMMEDIATELY…
Time is tight! Call the following Senators and urge them to oppose Senate Bill 1.
Although they support or have voted in support of vouchers in the past, it is important that they hear strong opposition to the bill.
Senator Jeff Piccola, Chair (717) 787-6801
Senator Mike Folmer, Vice Chair (717) 787-5708
Senator Andrew Dinniman, Minority Chair (717) 787-5709
Senator Jake Corman (717) 787-1377
Senator Patrick Browne (717) 787-1349
Senator Lloyd Smucker (717) 787-6535
Senator Joe Scarnati (717) 787-7084
Senator Anthony Williams (717) 787-5970
Also contact the following Senators who have continued to voice strong opposition to school vouchers and to thank them for their support of public education and their opposition to Senate Bill 1.
Senator Robert Tomlison (717) 787-5072
Senator Jim Ferlo (717) 787-6123
Senator Daylin Leach (717) 787-5544
Vouchers are a budget, education, accountability and constitutional issue.
As PA School funding is slashed, how can we take even more money from public schools least able to afford it and give it to private schools?
And, with the state budget in such dire condition, how can we justify transferring state revenues from public into private entities?
Any voucher bill will cost taxpayers and school districts millions in funding that neither have available, while, at the same time, districts across the state, especially those with students who will be eligible to receive vouchers, are making deep cuts into instructional programs for students.
Since only a small percentage of eligible students would use the vouchers to attend a private school, what happens to the overwhelming majority of students who continue to attend underfunded, under performing schools?
These bills do nothing to improve educational opportunities for the students who remain in these schools. In fact, these bills harm their educational opportunities because the schools will have fewer resources with which to provide educational services to the students.
How will private schools be held accountable for use of public funds?
Will these schools be required to administer the state assessments?
Since schools accepting voucher students would not have to administer the same assessments as administered in public schools, parents would not be able to compare the performance of their public school to that of the private school.
To make well informed decisions, parents need comparable data. Private schools accepting voucher students should be required to administer the same state assessments as administered to public schools.
Will the money provided through vouchers be audited? Taxpayer dollars should be spent transparently and those spending that money should be held accountable. No Voucher bill so far has required any independent annual audit of how private schools spend public money.
The Pennsylvania Constitution is clear that funds appropriated for use by public schools shall NOT be used for the support of any sectarian school, even if funds appropriated from the Commonwealth’s General Fund budget and provided to parents in the form of a voucher were based on the amount that the student’s resident school district would have received from the Commonwealth had the student continued to attend public school. While some may argue that PHEAA provides funds to students to attend a sectarian college or university, the Constitutional provision addresses public schools (K-12), not colleges and universities.
PLEASE MAKE YOUR CALLS TODAY!