Thursday, March 09, 2017

Please Let Congress Know It's a No on HB610

From the Network for Public Education:

In late January, HR 610 was introduced by Steve King of Iowa, with representatives from Maryland, Texas and Arizona signing on.

You can read a summary of the bill here. HR 610, the School Choice Act, would eliminate the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which was passed as a part of Lyndon B. Johnson’sWar on Poverty.” 

 Federal funds would be used instead to create “block grants” to be used to “distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child.” It would also roll back nutritional standards for free lunches for poor children.

Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act will hurt school funding for disabled students. Write Congress and tell them to preserve Medicaid school funding for kids.*

It is very clear that bills like HR 610, which would provide vouchers to private and religious schools, would be supported by both the U.S. Department of Education and the White House. In fact, it would appear that every alternative to democratically controlled public schools will be favored, while a clear bias against public schools will exist.

Send an email today to your Representatives that says, “Do not sign on to or support HR 610.” We make it easy to do. Just click here.

We need to send a clear message that we cannot afford, nor do we support, private and religious school vouchers. We do not want our public schools defunded as private schools, religious schools, charters and online for-profits are pushed.

*They are referring to the fact that school districts receive Medicaid dollars for some Sped students. HB 610 will eliminate the ESSA and thus those dollars.


Outsider said...

Just a suggestion to the zero Republican congresscreatures who read this blog: To make the legislation more appealing, you could add provisions to enable parents to form home-school cooperatives and hire their own teachers. Authorize a payroll agency like ADP to accept vouchers and disburse salary and benefits to licensed teachers appointed by the cooperatives. Include a prevailing wage provision (compensation must match or exceed local union contract) to reduce teacher opposition. That part goes against the Republican grain, of course, but if your goal is to build a coalition to get the law passed, and to make it sticky in the future, you have to be pragmatic.

Mary G said...

You have previously admitted that this bill has no chance of passing. I agree that it does not have a chance of passing. So why does the Network for Public Education keep pretending that this is the wolf at the door? King threw this bill out as a welcome mat for Betsy De Vos. It's not a real threat, and I'm not stupid enough to think that it is. I think the Network for Public Education needs to be a little smarter with what it portraying as a threat. What about the bill to eliminate the Department of Education--HR 899, or the bill to void the protections of the IDEA for using public money at private schools for students with disabilities S 235? According to Predictgov, these both have higher chances of passing. Can we have some realistic discussions about federal education issues without banging the drum of hysteria?

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't know who you are addressing this to but I don't recall saying the bill wouldn't pass. It might get altered but I think it could pass.

Thanks for the news on other bills.

Mary G said...

Melissa, Here is where you agreed with a comment that there was no need to urge people to contact their representatives about this very bill.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I didn't say it has no chance of passing. But okay, if you don't think it's an issue, that's fine. I think the GOP is ramrodding things thru and now I think it could be a problem.

Mary G said...

I agree... I am very worried. The proposed House GOP healthcare bill would have catastrophic impact on students. The immigration issues are also very worrisome. As far as education goes, I think the voucher issue is real, I just don't think any bill which mandates that a state must make federal funds available for use at private schools would be constitutional, in that it would exceed Congress’s power under the Spending Clause. I think we are likely to see more bills that are a bit better thought out that provide for expanding vouchers. Ugh!

Anonymous said...

Republicans are going to remove the filibuster rules. This might be a done deal.