The House of Delegates will be taking a vote on Monday on HB 2314, the voucher bill sponsored by Delegate Massie (Henrico) and supported by the Governor. The bill provides tax credits to companies that donate money for "scholarships" for kindergarten and first grade students eligible for free and reduced lunch to attend private schools. While the immediate impact of this bill is limited to $25 Million, it represents the proverbial camel's nose under the tent. When this voucher bill was first announced, both the Governor and the patron said it was a Florida-type program. Florida has a full-blown voucher program that sucks a tremendous amount of money out of the state treasury and away from public education. The proponents of this bill claim that it will not cost school systems anything because they will be relieved of the cost of educating the students, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you take a student off of a school bus, it does not reduce the cost of the fuel to run the bus or the bus driver to operate the bus. It simply increases the per capita cost of operating the bus. This voucher bill, which is just the beginning, will take tax money away from public education and drive up the per capita cost of educating our students. It is bad public policy and it is harmful to our students at a time when state funding for public education has dropped to the 2007 level or below.
PLEASE CALL YOUR DELEGATE TODAY AND ASK THAT HE OR SHE VOTE AGAINST HB 2314!