Send an email to tell your house member to vote NO for the new vouchers in the Senate budget.
The North Carolina Senate introduced SB 603, a bill creating a new voucher program that would give $9,000 a year to students with disabilities if they go to a non-public school. The senate put the program in its budget.
To learn more about these vouchers, read here http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2017/04/12/senates-poorly-designed-new-voucher-program-expand-avenues-educational-fraud/#sthash.PXUY3Inp.eAx51eOl.dpbs.
To sum up the NC Policy alert:
These new vouchers would:
- Expand opportunities for fraud
- Cost more to administer than traditional voucher programs
- Take funding from our public schools, with particularly negative impacts for public school programs for students with disabilities
- Drain the state budget
- Lack accountability
If passed, parents of eligible students get a debit card loaded with approximately $9,000 per year that they can spend on private school costs, tutoring, technology and even account fees!
In addition, SB 603 would allow parents to double- or triple-dip into North Carolina’s already existing voucher programs. Parents could also receive $4,200 from the Opportunity Scholarship program (for students meeting certain income requirements), an additional $8,000 via the Disabilities Grant Program and $9,000 from this program the new proposed program.
Like the Arizona ESA program on which it is modeled, it would be ripe for fraud. Arizona’s program has resulted in parents buying televisions, groceries, cell phones and family planning services. Vendors have also been caught overcharging parents. Monitoring of purchases would rely on self-reporting.
Under the proposed bill, even if an audit uncovers fraud, there is no requirement that the parent be forced to repay the taxpayers.
Worst of all, when a parent misuses these debits cards, their children go undereducated.
This is, in our opinion, just one more attempt to defund and attack public education. And it is shameful.
Send this email today to your representative telling them to oppose SB 603.
We make it easy. Just click here.
Then pick up the phone and call on Monday. You can find their number here.
Thanks for all you do!