Oppose House Bill 1286 (LaRock) “Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts” or ESAs
Contact your Delegate.
This bill would establish a Voucher program that would allow our public funds to go to families for private school or home-schooling. That would mean diverting funds from our already under-funded public schools.
Our Virginia public schools should prevail as the highest priority for school choice.
Your Delegate needs to know your reasons for opposing the “Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts” aka ESAs or Vouchers:
1. The Virginia Constitution prohibits public funding of private schools. (Article VIII, Section 10)
2. Payment would go directly from the local school district to a family.
3. ESAs have high startup and administration costs such as in the 2017 proposal HB1605.
4. ESAs are not targeted to families in need of financial assistance.
5. Vouchers may not cover full tuition or expenses
6. Low-income families may have limited participation.
7. No specific income level is required for eligibility.
8. High income families can already afford private school tuition
8. Payment is based on the local school district SOQ, not the need of the family or the cost.
9. Few limits are placed on how payments can be used – including transportation, home-schooling, and college tuition
10. No quality controls, such as an approval process or accreditation, are required.
11. Teacher qualification standards may be minimal.
12. Limited educational improvement with ESAs is reported by other states.
13. Nondiscrimination policies may not be in place in a private school.
Documents with more details on ESAs are on the LWV-VA website.
HB1286 is assigned to the House Committee on Education. That Committee meets Monday and Wednesday at 8:30 AM. The committee also has 3 subcommittees. No bills have yet been assigned to any of these subcommittees, so we are watching the LIS schedule constantly.
As an individual, Contact a committee member if he or she is your Delegate.
As an individual, Contact your own Delegate with statements opposing Vouchers in general, and or, this bill specifically.
Major background material on school funding is on the LWV-VA website under “Action & Advocacy” https://lwv-va.org/action-advocacy/school-choice-task-force/
For more information contact Carol Noggle firstname.lastname@example.org 571-437-8343
Also, notify Carol Noggle on actions you take and response from your Delegate.
House Education Committee
- Del. Steve Landes (R-Weyers Cave) Chair
- Del. Lamont Bagby (D-Richmond)
- Del. Dickie Bell (R-Staunton)
- Del. Jeff Bourne (D-Richmond)
- Del. Jennifer Boysko (D-Herndon)
- Del. David Bulova (D-Fairfax)
- Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg)
- Del. Chris Collins (R-Winchester)
- Del. Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach)
- Del. Gordon Helsel (R-Poquoson)
- Del. Chris Hurst (D-Blacksburg)
- Del. Mark Keam (D-Vienna)
- Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun)
- Del. Jay Leftwich (R-Chesapeake)
- Del. John McGuire (R-Glen Allen)
- Del. Brenda Pogge (R-Williamsburg)
- Del. Roxann Robinson (R-Chesterfield)
- Del. Debra Rodman (D-Henrico)
- Del. Cheryl Turpin (D-Virginia Beach)
- Del. Roslyn Tyler (D-Jarratt)
- Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg (D-Henrico)
- Del. David Yancey (R-Newport News)