Tell PA lawmakers to oppose Betsy DeVos vouchers on steroids and tax credit programs that funnel public dollars into private/religious schools

To Members of the PA Senate and House

PA lawmakers are poised to further the agenda of the school privatization lobby at the expense of PA taxpayers and public school students.  

On May 24th, the Senate and House Education Committees will be holding a public hearing on education savings accounts (ESAs).  

Education Savings Accounts are Betsy DeVos vouchers on steroids.  They are an underhanded attempt to re-brand extremely unpopular school voucher programs that divert taxpayer dollars out of public schools and into private pockets.

ESAs take taxpayer funding that is used to educate children in a public school and give it directly to parents on a debit card to spend on products/services related to their child’s education including private school tuition, supplies, tutors, online courses, college tuition, etc. There is little or no accountability for educational achievement of students with ESAs in other states.

In addition, PA House recently passed HB 250, a bill that provides a $55 million INCREASE in funding for private/religious school vouchers in PA's existing Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs in the 2017-2018 budget. This would bring the total amount of EITC/OSTC school vouchers in PA to $180 million.

Tell your PA lawmakers to support PUBLIC education, not voucher schemes to privatize our public schools.

Petition by
Ed Voters
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Sponsored by
Philadelphia, PA

To: To Members of the PA Senate and House
From: [Your Name]

Please oppose "education savings accounts" for students. ESAs are vouchers on steroids. Calling these vouchers ESAs is simply an underhanded attempt to re-brand highly unpopular school voucher programs that funnel money out of public schools and into private pockets. Please also OPPOSE HB 250, which would provide $55 million in new taxpayer funding for vouchers to unaccountable private/religious schools in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs. The EITC/OSTC programs already divert $125 million in taxpayer money out of the PA general fund budget and into private and religious schools with no accountability for student achievement or for how taxpayer dollars are spent. The EITC/OSTC tax credits leave less money to fund our PUBLIC schools and other important programs that benefit Pennsylvanians. The PA Constitution requires the General Assembly to "provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth" However, PA's school funding system is neither adequate nor equitable, thorough nor efficient. Hundreds of thousands of PA's poorest children attend rural, suburban, and urban public schools where they lack basic, essential supports and materials, including reasonable class sizes, school libraries, and up-to-date textbooks and technology. Home and business owners face increasing pressure on their property taxes because of woefully inadequate state funding for schools. Pennsylvanians need state lawmakers to fund our PUBLIC schools, not schemes to funnel more taxpayer dollars into private pockets. Oppose education savings accounts and additional funding for private/religious school scholarships through the EITC/OSTC programs.