There has been much discussed about the proposed school voucher bill, SB 1. But Tredyffrin resident Christine Johnson is doing more than just talking . . . she’s taking her voice and saying NO to SB 1. Christine adopted her ‘Resolution Opposing Senate Bill 1’ (below) and sent it to Senator Andy Dinniman and State Rep Warren Kampf. According to Christine, ” . . . they need our support in order to say ‘NO’ . . . “
Creating change starts with one person –I am proud of Christine and applaud her effort to show all that your voice can count! If you are interested in following Christine’s example, here are email addresses:
State Rep Warren Kampf: email@example.com
State Sen Andy Dinniman: firstname.lastname@example.org
RESOLUTION OPPOSING SENATE BILL 1
By Christine E. Johnson
986 Mt. Pleasant Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
WHEREAS, school districts in the Commonwealth have continued to make steady gains in academic achievement and create innovative and effective
programs and curricula for all public school students and Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation to have increased academic achievement in every subject, at all tested grade levels and for all ethnic, racial and
economic subgroups of students from 2002 through 2008; and
WHEREAS, the implementation of a tuition voucher program, over-expansion of any existing tax credit program or incentivizing a student’s transfer out of the public education system in any way takes financial resources away from traditional public schools and diminishes the great strides that have been made in those schools and increases the burden on property taxpayers and their resident school districts working toward greater academic successes; and
WHEREAS, unlike nonpublic and private schools, public school districts in the Commonwealth accept and educate children regardless of race,
ethnicity, gender, religion or academic talents, as opposed to those institutions that are able to reject applicants based on low academic performance, discipline issues or any number of other factors; and
WHEREAS, unlike nonpublic and private schools, public schools in the Commonwealth are held to strict accountability standards in an effort to
measure student achievement and academic progress, unlike private and parochial schools which are not required to give state assessments or
publish student achievement data; and
WHEREAS, there is no consistent evidence to demonstrate that students who utilize vouchers make any better academic progress in nonpublic or private schools than they did prior to transferring; and
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Christine E. Johnson opposes Senate Bill 1 and any other legislation or any effort by the General Assembly to implement a tuition voucher program in the Commonwealth or any other program that would have an effect similar to that of a tuition voucher program, and encourages its elected officials to oppose the same.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Christine E. Johnson directs her legislators to take immediate action about the need to oppose Senate Bill 1 and the negative consequences on the school district and the public education system at large and to provide a copy of this resolution to them.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Christine E. Johnson will encourage others, including parents, students and district taxpayers, to contact the
Pennsylvania General Assembly to convey the importance of supporting public education in the Commonwealth.
Adopted this 31st day of March 2011.
Christine E. Johnson
2 CommentsAdd a Comment
While I admire Christine’s effort, I disagree with her opposition to SB 1. Vouchers may take funding from public schools, but SB 1 is designed to help the poorest students in our state– those who are stuck attending the worst public schools. I think it’s easy for those of us living in comfort in T/E to ignore the plight of those students. But did you see the most recent Philadelphia Inquirer series about violence in the Philly Public Schools? Have you read some of the statistics about how those schools are failing? And do you think it’s fair for those of us who can send our children to a nice, safe school to oppose a bill that gives an option to the neediest kids in the state? We can object all we want to the fact that state money might be going to parochial schools, but I will support SB 1 unless I see someone come up with a better solution for these kids. And I don’t mean for these kids 10+ years from now. We need a solution for the current generation of kids. I do not think it’s fair to ignore them just because vouchers may not be a perfect solution.
Way to go Christine!
Don’t forget State Rep. Duane Milne: email@example.com
Although SB1 is being sold as a measure to help those stuck in the worst public schools, in year 3 any student whose family’s income meets the poverty guidelines becomes eligible for a voucher – even if they live in T/E or Lower Merion and even if they have never attended a public school.
Senator Vincent Hughes is introducing an alternative plan to address these students and their struggling schools:
Senator proposes rescue plan for state’s struggling schools
Published: Saturday, April 02, 2011, 12:00 AM
By JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News
State Sen. Vincent Hughes isn’t willing to rescue only a handful of students from the state’s worst-performing schools.
He wants to save all of them.
The Philadelphia Democrat plans to introduce legislation on Monday that focuses on fixing the state’s 144 worst performing schools. They are all among the bottom 5 percent of the state’s schools.