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Topic: Hotspots -- Vouchers
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
Hotspots -- Vouchers
Posted: Apr 2, 1999 5:49 PM
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[Note: From the People for the American Way Webmaster, March 30, 1999.]


Voucher proposals are moving forward in 28 states this year.
Here are a few highlights.

Please keep in mind that much of this legislation is moving very
quickly. If you have any questions or would like further information,
go to

**If you live in one of the states with pending voucher
legislation noted below, you might consider calling your state
legislators and tell them that you expect of them regarding voucher

ARIZONA - The House of Representatives passed a pilot voucher
program in mid-March, sending the bill to the Senate Education

CALIFORNIA - While no voucher legislation is likely to pass this
year, there are two pro-voucher ballot initiatives in the works.
If they qualify, they will be on the ballot in the 2000 election.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - We expect a reprise of the fight over
vouchers for D.C. public schools. The new chairman of the House
District of Columbia Appropriations Sub-committee is Rep. Ernest
Istook (R-OK), a staunch supporter of vouchers.

FLORIDA - Voucher bill HB 751 has passed through two House
committees and is headed to the House floor. A Senate voucher
bill, SB 1756, is in the Senate Education Committee and a hearing
to consider amendments has been scheduled for mid-March.
Although the governor is pro-voucher and Republicans dominate the
state House and Senate, Toni Jennings, president of the Senate,
is anti-voucher.

GEORGIA - A Senate voucher bill has failed and a House voucher
bill is in committee. Meanwhile, The Edison Project, an
organization promoting management of schools by for-profit
companies, is taking root in the state.

ILLINOIS - A state private school tax credit bill for education
expenses at private and religious schools is back, and has passed
the House. Governor George Ryan has said he supports private
school tax credits.

NEW MEXICO - Governor Gary Johnson is waging an all-out war for
vouchers, vetoing the entire education funding bill because it
didn't include a voucher provision and buying radio ads
supporting vouchers.

NEW YORK - The Giuliani administration is waging an intense
campaign to secure the support it needs to establish a voucher
program in New York City. Meanwhile, former U.S. Congressman
Rev. Floyd Flake has returned to the Allen AME church in Jamaica,
Queens, to continue organizing clergy in support of vouchers.

OHIO - The Ohio Supreme Court has yet to decide on the
constitutionality of the Cleveland voucher program. A recent
special state audit indicated that the program includes 30
students from families with incomes ranging from $50,000 -
$80,000, and more than $400,000 is being spent on taxi companies
to ferry voucher students to private schools.

PENNSYLVANIA - Governor Tom Ridge has unveiled his Academic
Recovery Act. If implemented, Ridge's plan would give
"supervouchers" to kids in distressed school districts, to be
used at any school, private, public or parochial. School
districts would also be allowed to transform schools into charter
schools; hire non-certified managers to operate one or more
schools, or the entire district; and contract with for-profit or
non-profit entities to operate and manage schools or provide
educational services.

TEXAS - There is a great deal of voucher activity in Texas and a
number of voucher bills have been introduced. The two bills with
the most momentum, HB 709 and SB 10, are still in their
committees, but are expected to move soon.


The Illinois General Assembly is moving quickly to pass House
Bill 999, a private school tax credit bill that would give a tax
credit for private and religious school costs. HB 999 has been
passed by the House and is currently in the Senate Rules
Committee. Last session, the legislature passed identical
private school tax credit legislation, but former Governor Edgar
vetoed the bill. This year, the legislation is moving quickly
and has Governor Ryan's support.

If you live in Illinois, the bill is HB 999.

Illinois General Assembly Switchboard:



A National PTA poll has found that parents with children in
public schools want the federal government to increase its
investment in public schools and that federal funding for
parental involvement activities has strong support among parents.

For more information, please visit the National PTA website,

and read their National Survey of Parents of Public School Students:

Or call the National PTA at:



Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)

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