Children First’s Report Series on COVID’s Impact on Children – READ THE COUNTY REPORTS HERE

It’s Gonna Take A Miracle To Stop This – Apr 29, 2022

 

It’s No Joke

A priest, a hedge fund millionaire, and a right- wing think tank director walk into a bar. The priest says to the hedge fund guy, “I know you’ve faltered in your now ten-year effort to destroy public education. I have a way for you to finally get the golden ring.”

He tells the think tank dilettante, “You’ve spent 25 years trying to shutter public schools. I have a way for you to accomplish your goal in the largest school districts. Work with me to pass vouchers and we can all get into heaven.”

That may not be exactly how the conversation went, but, earlier this week, the results of this unholy alliance bore fruit when the Pennsylvania House passed a voucher bill. House Bill 2169 is especially devilish because it funds private and parochial school vouchers by robbing the futures of the poorest children in the state. As the saying goes, it’s hard to make this “stuff” up.   

To pay for the $6,000/year vouchers in unregulated religious and private schools where the results of student achievement are completely unknown, the measure takes the funds from the school districts with the lowest student performance on state-administered assessments. On the face of it, perhaps getting the students out of those public schools makes sense. Except that ignores the fact that these are the same schools with the least to spend that are educating the poorest children in the Commonwealth.

Wouldn’t it simply make more sense to ensure these schools get the funding that’s proven to result in student achievement?  Instead, the public argument for this scheme is to rely on divine intervention to miraculously give students education.

Manna from heaven really was found this week. In just the month of April, state revenues were $1.5 billion higher than anticipated, nearly the amount that the Governor proposed to allocate for public schools for next year. In fact, year to date, state revenues are billions and billions in the black. These revenues make HB 2169’s scheme of robbing Peter to pay Paul all the more grotesque.

Meanwhile, a stunning national poll released today finds that 88% of the American public think public schools are doing just fine. Unlike the PA House majority, the voters have faith in public education. 

Sadly, on the last voting day in the PA House before the Primary Election, House leaders made it clear that winning the hearts and minds of the 12% is much more important than serving the rest of us in Pennsylvania.

Help us stop this bill in the PA Senate!

Click here to tell your Senator to vote NO! on House Bill 2169.

A bill that would give state dollars to parents who choose to send their kids to private school – diverting your hard-earned tax dollars from your local school districts – passed the PA House. Let’s stop it in the Senate!

Tell your state sentator to oppose “Lifeline Scholarships.”

An analysis used by PA officials to argue that the state’s funding system doesn’t shortchange poor students was flawed. The corrected study shows poor students in the state actually get 3% less than non-poor students, and Black and Hispanic students receive 6% less than other students

Crandall Jones and Amrinder Singh spearheaded the new Norristown ordinance that requires rental properties, child care facilities, condemned properties, and properties for sale be certified lead-free. Kids in their neighborhoods will live free of poisonous lead hazards!

Click here to join us in honoring this dynamic duo and other Champions for Children on May 10th.

“Pre-k counts. It’s a bipartisan issue. We want more voters out there to understand this so when the elections come around, they’re supporting someone who supports pre-k.”

Dr. William Harner, Superintendent of the Quakertown Community School District