Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pennsylvania and Vouchers: Now What?

FYI. Senate Bill 1 passed yesterday. Pennsylvania is a step closer to implementing a school voucher program. What? Everybody else is doing it. Shouldn't we?

No we should not. The facts are simple. Vouchers don't help kids in poor schools. Vouchers don't make neighboring schools better. Vouchers cost taxpayers more money.

However, all of this doesn't matter when you understand this fact. Proponents of vouchers don't really care if they "work." Voucher supporters' real motivation is to dismantle the public school system and replace it with a totally privatized system of education. PERIOD!

Now what? Time to write or call your local representative in the House. What should you say? That's up to you but here is what I said in an email to my local representative. Copy, paste, modify and send.

Dear Representative Stern,

I am sure you know that I am disappointed by your colleagues in the Senate. However, I hope that your position on the constitutionality of a voucher program remains strong. The rhetoric coming out of Senator Eichelberger is absolutely disgraceful and his disdain for teachers speaks volumes about his priorities to the children of Pennsylvania.

If there is anything I can do to help please let me know. I am not a politician but I do know a little bit about the "facts" and public education. And the facts about vouchers point out that they don't help anyone and in the end (when public education is gone) they will destroy "our" local communities.

Go and ask the people of Bellwood if they support a movement that will eventually suck the soul (the public school) from their community.

This is not a Republican vs Democrat issue. This is a values issue. Do we value our local public schools that support the cultural life of their respective communities? If we do, then we cannot create a voucher program that has all intentions of expanding into the entire system of public education. This is not about helping children. This is about dismantling the public schools of Pennsylvania. This is about giving up on the ideal that all children in Pennsylvania deserve a free, well rounded, and powerful education.

Your Friend,


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