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  • Carol Burris, Network for Public Education

Senate Sneaks Vouchers Back In

After having their voucher bill defeated, the pro-voucher Texas senate has now attached its voucher bill to school funding!

Send your email to your representatives and tell them to VOTE NO for CSHB 21 today.

You can send it here.

Then call your state senator and state representative and ask them to oppose CSHB 21 (Committee Substitute House Bill 21). You can find their Austin phone numbers here.

Below is what Pastors for Texas Children has to say about this voucher bill.

We oppose this voucher on the following grounds:

ESA’s takes taxpayer funds directly from public schools and provides no real funding.

With money coming directly from the Foundation School Program, ESA’s siphon money directly from public schools and divert it to be used in private, religious and home schools. Aside from the 450,000 special education students in Texas, the inclusion of 504 students opens the door for any student with a “life impairment” (e.g. asthma, ADHD, anxiety, etc.) and could cost billions of dollars. Besides, the current Senate budget does not fund CSHB 21 and doesn’t provide any real funding for Texas public schools. With Texas public schools already being underfunded, Texas can’t afford the voucher in CSHB 21.

ESA’s violate the separation of church and state and the first amendment

CSHB 21 provides monies that can be used in any private or religious school. Earlier ESA’s that this was modeled from provided no disallowance for religious content or services. Taxpayer funds used for religious content or services violates the first amendment.

Parents and students give up their federal protections under ESA’s

Students with disabilities in special education receiving a voucher under CSHB 21 would give up their federal protections upon exiting the public school. This includes their rights to due process under admissions, review and dismissal (ARD) committees and other federal protections.

No accountability under ESA’s

Private and religious schools that would access taxpayer dollars through CSHB 21 are not accountable to the state in the same way as public schools. CSHB 21 would allow these schools to receive taxpayer monies while not meeting the same curriculum nor fiscal requirements of a Texas public school. Texans overwhelmingly believe that schools that receive tax dollars should be accountable for how they are spent, but the schools that receive vouchers would not be accountable to taxpayers."

Send your email today. And make sure you follow up with a phone call.

Thank you,

Carol Burris

Network for Public Education


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