Oppose SB 130

In the last week of February, overwhelmed with negative citizen reaction, the House Education Committee had to table HB 20, which would have taken taxpayer funds from public schools and given them to private or parochial school students. .Apparently hoping to circumvent negative public reaction, our State Senate has resurrected the legislature in the form of Senate Bill 130. As was HB 20, I think SB 130 is a terrible idea for the following reasons:

• We need to put more money, not less into our public schools. There are some towns that have been forced to close their schools for lack of funding.

• The bill would require an estimated $100 million in the first year just to accommodate the students who are already enrolled in private schools, and costs will go up even more as new students enroll.

• Vouchers would come out of state funding for public schools. This will lead to increases in local property taxes.

• The bill provides no parameters regarding student performance or financial need.

• The bill provides no oversight of curriculum. We could be financing religious education: a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which requires separation of church and state.

• Much of the money will go to wealthy families who can easily afford full tuition at the expense of our public school students.

Please contact your senator and your representatives in the Legislature. Tell them to oppose SB 130 and any legislation that diverts public school funds to private school subsidies.