We need your help again!
Vouchers are still very much in play. A voucher bill that would send $6,500 per student to private schools is slated for a vote by the full House. Click here to see an analysis of the bill.
Legislators whose ultimate goal is to privatize our public schools are still pushing their plan to hand debit cards to 500 families that they can use to pay their children’s tuition at unaccountable private schools. The vouchers are promoted as a way to help children with special needs, but the bill says that private schools are not required to provide special education services, and it requires families to absolve the state of any further responsibility for the education of their children. The remaining 50,000+ children receiving special education services in our public schools are even further marginalized by the privatization movement.
Here’s what is even worse… a privatization organization is misrepresenting the votes of legislators who have opposed private school vouchers in the past, in an attempt to bully them into supporting vouchers this year. Many courageous legislators have refused to get on the “easy way out” bandwagon or to wash their hands of their responsibility to provide for the needs of all children. They have demanded real answers, standing their ground to insist that the state provide all children the services they need and deserve.
The privatizers are predictably dismayed that some legislators have seen through the empty promises of their voucher scheme, and they have pulled out all the stops in their attempt to coerce lawmakers into going along with their plan. Just last week they were running robo calls in these legislators’ districts, falsely accusing them of voting against children with special needs in anticipation of a vote on this voucher bill. They have created “school choice” report cards giving As to legislators who routinely vote for privatization measures and Fs to those who refuse to sell out our kids. And they have threatened their re-election, offering large sums of campaign cash to opponents who promise to support privatization of public schools.
Please let your legislators know that we are not fooled. We see very clearly the difference between state-funded vouchers for private academies and real help for all children with special needs. Let them know that their responsibility is to do what’s right for all children.
Ask your representative to vote NO on vouchers – Senate Bill 2695.
Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770
Speaker Gunn Capitol: 601.359.3300
The next two weeks will be critical ones for public education; the deadline for floor votes on general bills is March 11. This voucher bill is just the tip of the iceberg. If the privatizers get their way, for-profit schools and private academies will pick and choose which of our children get a shot at a decent life, and public schools will be starved of the resources they need to educate our kids. Please ask everyone you know to call their representatives and insist on a NO vote on the voucher bill. Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter; forward this email to your contacts. If enough of us speak up, they will eventually listen. How many folks can you get to call?
Follow updates on all of the legislation we are tracking at our website, www.msparentscampaign.org. I know how disgusted you are with this process, but we owe it to our kids to stay the course and protect their futures. They are more than worth it!