On Friday, June 30th, the Senate moved their “PASS Scholarship” DeVos voucher bill to the House Rules Committee, where it was SOUNDLY REJECTED in a party-line vote of 18-15.
On June 30th, the PA Senate also passed a budget bill that contains a $100 million appropriation for vouchers (and other education funding) and sent it to the House. The House adjourned late on Friday afternoon and will take up budget negotiations some time after the July 4th holiday weekend.
In Harrisburg on June 30th the PA Schools Work campaign held a press conference to urge Governor Shapiro and state lawmakers to reject voucher schemes and fund our PUBLIC schools.
House Democrats have stood firm in their support of public education and their unequivocal opposition to a new school voucher program in the commonwealth that would funnel precious education dollars into bank accounts for families to spend on tuition to private and religious schools. It is thanks to House Democrats that vouchers continue to be held at bay.
PA Schools Work held a press conference to support adequate, equitable, and constitutional funding in the budget for public education and to reject voucher schemes. Many House Democrats joined us!
Thank you for the hundreds of emails you sent and phone calls that you made today to Governor Shapiro. We heard from *a lot* of advocates on Friday, June 30th that they were having a hard time getting through on the governor’s phone line because so many people were calling today. Your advocacy is making a huge difference!
In the evening on Thursday, June 29, just one day before the state budget deadline, Senate Republicans passed a school voucher bill that would siphon $100 million state tax money into unaccountable private and religious schools. Brand new “PASS Scholarships” were amended into Senate Bill 479, an unreated bill, which passed by a vote of 29-21.
And these new vouchers have Betsy Devos’s fingerprints all over them.
Hours before the Senate passed the voucher bill, dozens of organizations and individuals, including out-of-state millionaires and billionaires who have been working for decades to defund and dismantle public education, delivered this letter to Governor Shapiro and state lawmakers, urging them to support vouchers in Pennsylvania.
☎️ CALL GOVERNOR SHAPIRO at (717) 787-2500. TELL HIM TO OPPOSE SCHOOL VOUCHERS. If the line is busy or if there is no answer, please call back!!☎️
Tell the staffer who answers the phone:
“Hello, this is (say your name and spell it) and I am calling from (say your town/city.)
I am calling to ask Governor Shapiro to reject vouchers for private and religious schools and to support adequate, equitable, and constitutional funding for public schools.”
These millionaires and billionaires, including Betsy DeVos, do not care about Pennsylvania students. Instead, they are hoping to be able to use our children as pawns in their national ideological war against public education.
We do not want our elected officials to cozy up with out-of-state millionaires and billionaires and do their bidding.
Instead, we want our lawmakers and our governor to get to work for Pennsylvanians to pass a budget that will take steps toward fixing their broken and unconstitutional school funding system by investing the commonwealth’s PUBLIC schools in the 2023-2024 state budget to give ALL of our children a shot at a bright future.