One Day More – No on Vouchers
By rule, bills must pass their chamber of origin today to move forward. That means today is the last chance for the Senate to vote on SB 609 and the last chance for the House to vote on HB 2949 – the two bills that would take depleted public school funding and pass it to parents to spend on private schools.
- State aid to public schools has been cut by more than $64 million since January.
- Insurance benefits have been cut by several million more.
- Many districts have also lost significant revenue due to the recalculation of motor vehicle tax distributions.
- Superintendents have been told to brace for another revenue failure declaration – in June.
- The $51 million in Rainy Day Funds announced yesterday will help districts, but not completely.
- The state faces a shortfall of at least $1.3 billion next year.
- The Oklahoma State Department of Education has estimated that the fiscal impact of SB 609 to districts would be as high as $45 million and the fiscal impact of HB 2949 would be as high as $68 million.
- Districts face increased class sizes and reductions to extra-curricular programs if cuts continue.
- If voucher supporters had enough votes, these bills would have already been on the floor.
- Candidate filing for those interested in being a part of the 2017 Legislature is quickly approaching – April 13-15.
When you call, remind them that their vote will determine yours.
One more day, #oklaed. Voucher supporters will be at the Capitol in full force. Their lobbyists and parents can camp out. We’ll have parents and other public school supporters there too.
Whether you can be there or not, persist. Call in the morning and ask for their position on vouchers. Call in the afternoon and ask if anything has changed. Hold them accountable for this watershed vote.