This article was originally posted 3/16/2023 on SUBV Facebook page
When they figured you were busy with Spring Break, some BV-area legislators voted to divert money away from our schools and send it to private schools, unaccredited schools, religious schools, and even home schools.
Legislators know voters don’t like vouchers, so they named it “the sunflower education equity act” - but here’s what it does: gives state funds equal to the amount of BASE state aid (about $5000 this year) directly to a family that says they will not enroll their student in public school. Students benefiting from the taxpayer money may be home-schooled, and are not required to have any evaluation or assessment testing to ensure they are actually learning. Previous requirements for a Board that would oversee the voucher program have been deleted from the current bill. The State Treasurer is given full authority without oversight to approve any use of the money. The bill specifically states that content or religious nature may NOT be considered when determining whether an expenditure is allowable.
The bill specifies that a student may accept a scholarship from the existing voucher-like Tax Credit Scholarship Program that we’ve told you about before, AND benefit from the new ESA voucher program.
The next time you think about your student’s crowded classroom, or you wonder why there aren’t more levels of sports teams available at your school, or you think student fees are awfully high - remember these legislators' votes.
What would be right for Blue Valley kids would be a straightforward education funding bill that fully funded Special Education costs and wasn’t tied to measures redirecting taxpayer dollars to unaccountable organizations that don’t serve all kids. We hope Gov. Kelly vetoes this one so legislators can have another shot at doing it right.