Ever wonder what the strategy is to get “school choice” bills passed in States where it is so hotly contested? We can find that answer in a memo posted on edchoice.com that explains a focus group was set up by Bellweather Consulting at the behest of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Bellweather gathered 34 state legislators to ask them what some of the hot topics were for their upcoming session. The issue of ESA’s was discussed as part of the conversation. One of the key “take away points” is found in section 4 which reads:
There is a concerted effort to gain control of education in States that is being pushed from the highest levels of government and funded by powerful private entities with an eye on making big earnings, sacrificing public education at the altar of private profits. They want to use some of the most vulnerable in our community, special needs schoolchildren, to gain a foothold. It’s like a bad 1980’s Public Service Announcement!
This isn’t about giving families better educational choices, but about being able to make money off of those so-called choices. It is not choice when actually it is government-subsidy funds that come with more regulations and oversight! It’s not choice to use public monies to fund private education. It’s not choice when the funds provided through the program are nominal (proposed in the bills is max $500-$750 per household). How does that provide real choice to kids in a failing system? This is further demonstration of the real goal of these “school choice” bills and it’s clear it’s not an altruistic attempt to better education.
Rep. Ron Simmons introduced HB1335 to establish subsidies for what is described as “special needs and educationally disadvantaged students”. Please let him hear from you to say you DO NOT support this bill or any legislation that uses our vulnerable kids to make profits for his lobbyist supporters.
Click here to see a video of Mr. Simmons admitting the money is not enough to send your child to a private school.