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Utah The Utah legislature and governor quietly passed and signed voucher legislation into law in February of this year. Pro-voucher advocates in Utah are.

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Presentation on theme: "Utah The Utah legislature and governor quietly passed and signed voucher legislation into law in February of this year. Pro-voucher advocates in Utah are."— Presentation transcript:

1 Utah The Utah legislature and governor quietly passed and signed voucher legislation into law in February of this year. Pro-voucher advocates in Utah are already advertising the availability of vouchers throughout the state and have sent messages to voucher advocates in other states offering Utah’s plan as a model. Utahans for Public Schools – a coalition that includes UEA, the Utah School Boards Association, Utah PTA, NAACP, League of Women Voters, and other interested organizations – have succeeded in placing a referendum on the November ballot to repeal the voucher law. The referendum is worded as a question, asking voters whether the voucher law should be implemented. UEA and their coalition partners will be urging a “no” vote on the referendum.

2 Utah The requested funds ($3 million) will support a comprehensive campaign to secure passage of the referendum, (no vote) including coalition activities, paid and earned media, grassroots, and Internet-based advocacy. Strategies will include strengthening, expanding, and engaging coalition partners; saturating the airwaves with integrated paid communications, designed to define the issue for voters; instituting a rapid response media operation; providing localized content for partner websites; creating and training a speakers bureau; and generating targeted news stories and opinion pieces. The assistance was needed prior to our September Board meeting. Vote: 128 YES ; 1 NO ; 1 ABSTAINED

3 Utahans for Public Schools Donate to Utahans for Public Schools Send checks to: Utahans for Public Schools PO Box 11501 Salt Lake City, UT 84147 Utah state law requires PICs (Political Issues Committees) to report all contributions with a value greater than $50 by the donor’s name, address, and occupation. Contributions to PICs are not tax deductible.

4 Vouchers We believe that… vouchers are designed to destroy public schools and end education as a public institution committed to serving all of the nation’s children. vouchers have always had more to do with ideology, money and politics than with education. vouchers pave the way to a two-tiered school system, funded by public tax dollars, but lacking public oversight.

5 Who is Behind Vouchers? Walton Family Foundation In 2003 alone, the foundation gave $49 million to Far Right legal, advocacy and public policy groups with hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few years. In 2004, gave $1million to Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) In 2004, gave $600,000 to Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (CREO) Instrumental in launching the two largest private scholarship programs in the country, Children First America and the Children’s Scholarship Fund Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation Ran an unsuccessful 2000 Michigan voucher ballot initiative Created All Children Matter, the new pro-voucher PAC in 2004 with a $2 million startup contribution

6 Who is Behind Vouchers? Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation Instrumental in promoting, defending and financing efforts to expand the Milwaukee voucher program $200,000 given to both Black Alliance for Education Options (BAEO) and Hispanic Council for Reform and Education Options (CREO). Castle Rock Foundation Coors family Provides financial support and leadership to the American Legislative Exchange Council, the national organization for ultra-conservative legislators that promotes anti-teacher, anti-public education and anti- labor legislation drafted by its members.

7 Who is Behind Vouchers? THINK TANKS: Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC Center for Education Reform, Washington, DC POLITICAL ACTION: All Children Matter, Grand Rapids, MI Legislative Education Action Drive (LEAD), Glenview, IL People of Color United, Washington, DC

8 True or False? Milton Friedman first proposed a voucher system for education in the 1950’s. The first publicly funded vouchers were used by white parents in the South to send their children to private schools to avoid the desegregation of public schools mandated by the US Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision.

9 True or False? The vast majority of all Americans would prefer to see their tax dollars spent on improving the public schools, rather than on vouchers. Voucher programs hurt public schools by draining already inadequate resources, leaving them less able to improve.

10 True or False? Under vouchers, private schools, not parents choose which students to admit and openly discriminate in their admissions. Private schools getting vouchers are not held accountable to the public. Every time vouchers have appeared on the ballot, the American public has rejected them by an overwhelming majority.

11 True or False? Private schools are not subject to, and do not have to comply with, all federal anti-discrimination laws designed to protect children, and they also may be exempt from certain employment discrimination laws. “Opportunity scholarships” and “parental choice” = VOUCHER

12 Alternatives to Vouchers Class Size Reduction Professional Development for Teachers Parent Involvement Extended Learning Opportunities Students who regularly attended high quality after- school programs had better grades and fewer behavior problems in school, fewer emotional problems, lower incidences of drug-use, violence and pregnancy. Curriculum Alignment Allows students to adjust easily when when going from one school to another

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