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The Senate Appropriations Committee on Education meets today!

Please consider sending a similar email. The committee meets TODAY at 11 am. I got most of the facts from Sue’s blog. She’s a school board member in the Keys: Begin forwarded message: To:,,,,,,,,,,,, Subject: Please vote no on SB 202 Public education is a cornerstone of our democracy. All 50 states have included a guarantee of public education in their Constitution--for all the children in their state--since the end of the Civil War. Florida's Constitution has one of the strongest guarantees which has been repeatedly endorsed by Florida voters when ballot initiatives are put on our ballot in support of public schools.. Public schools are a fundamental American value. There are cost efficiencies to every child attending the neighborhood school. Wouldn’t it be grand if you adequately funded the neighborhood schools so there would be lots of choices in each and every neighborhood school? It’s telling that in SB 202 there is a demand that homeschool and private school students be allowed to take advantage of some of the amenities that the neighborhood schools have to offer including team sports and AP classes. You need to make sure the neighborhood schools are adequately compensated when homeschooled and private school students take advantage of that. The voucher amount should be reduced if FEFP money is used to reimburse the district so the voucher student isn't double dipping. From fiscal year 2008 to fiscal year 2019, Florida decreased its per-pupil funding for public education by 12%, from $9,799 in fiscal 2008 to $8,628 in fiscal 2019. The other 49 states, on average, increased per-pupil spending during the same time period by 9.6%. Please put a guarantee on the per student funding for the neighborhood schools run by the locally elected school board. Also please guarantee adequate capital outlay funding for those schools. The vast majority of Florida’s families choose public school and the fiscal ramifications of SB202 should not further defund our schools. Don’t ignore the fixed costs associated with maintaining our neighborhood schools.

If you're not able to defeat SB 202, then please at least put a dollar cap on the vouchers and a line item in the budget for it. There is reason to believe that ALL students currently attending private schools will apply for a voucher if SB 202 passes as written. That sum would be $4 Billion. Middle class Floridians don’t need to subsidize the elite private school tuition of millionaires.

Put a dollar cap on the total voucher amount and prioritize kids with disabilities. Make it a rule that the vouchers can only go to schools with a large endowment. Experience has shown us that schools that rely 100% on vouchers for their revenue are rarely quality schools. Sincerely, Florida citizens who love Article IX of Florida’s Constitution that guarantees a free, uniform, efficient, high quality public education system

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