House Democrats have stood firm in their support of public education and their unequivocal opposition to a new school voucher program in the commonwealth that would funnel precious education dollars into bank accounts for families to spend on tuition to private and religious schools. It is thanks to House Democrats that vouchers continue to be held at bay.
PA Schools Work held a press conference to support adequate, equitable, and constitutional funding in the budget for public education and to reject voucher schemes. Many House Democrats joined us!
Thank you for the hundreds of emails you sent and phone calls that you made today to Governor Shapiro. We heard from *a lot* of advocates that they were having a hard time getting through on the governor’s phone line because so many people were calling today. Your advocacy is making a huge difference!Late this afternoon (June 30th) the PA Senate passed a budget bill that contains a $100 million appropriation for vouchers (and other education funding) and sent it to the House. The House adjourned late on Friday afternoon and will take up budget negotiations some time after the holiday weekend.
Our Ed Voters team will be back after the 4th of July weekend with more details about the proposed Senate budget and any news about negotiations in Harrisburg.
So very grateful for your support of public education,
Susan, Sandra, and Katja
PS: It is my sense that Governor Shapiro is going to need to continue to hear from advocates who oppose vouchers as we move forward through the budget process, so please stay tuned!
In the evening on Thursday, June 29, just one day before the state budget deadline, Senate Republicans passed a school voucher bill that would siphon $100 million state tax money into unaccountable private and religious schools. Brand new “PASS Scholarships” were amended into Senate Bill 479, an unrelated bill, which passed by a vote of 29-21.
And these new vouchers have Betsy Devos’s fingerprints all over them.
Hours before the Senate passed the voucher bill, dozens of organizations and individuals, including out-of-state millionaires and billionaires who have been working for decades to defund and dismantle public education, delivered this letter to Governor Shapiro and state lawmakers, urging them to support vouchers in Pennsylvania.
CALL GOVERNOR SHAPIRO at (717) 787-2500.
TELL HIM TO OPPOSE SCHOOL VOUCHERS.
If the line is busy or if there is no answer, please call back!!
Tell the staffer who answers the phone:
“Hello, this is (say your name and spell it) and I am calling from (say your town/city).
I am calling to ask Governor Shapiro to reject vouchers for private and religious schools and to support adequate, equitable, and constitutional funding for public schools.”
These millionaires and billionaires, including Betsy DeVos, do not care about Pennsylvania students. Instead, they are hoping to be able to use our children as pawns in their national ideological war against public education.
We do not want our elected officials to cozy up with out-of-state millionaires and billionaires and do their bidding.
Instead, we want our lawmakers and our governor to get to work for Pennsylvanians to pass a budget that will take steps toward fixing their broken and unconstitutional school funding system by investing the commonwealth’s PUBLIC schools in the 2023-2024 state budget to give ALL of our children a shot at a bright future.
We are in the final stretch of budget season. Stay tuned for updates on this bill and other items related to education funding.
Susan Spicka, Executive Director, Education Voters of PA
PS: The status of HB 1422, the cyber charter reform bill, is unclear right now. If it doesn’t come up for a vote while lawmakers are negotiating the budget, we will look for a vote on it after lawmakers return to Harrisburg in the fall.