Several items are already buzzing around tomorrow’s two fiscal matters bills scheduled for debate on the House floor. An attempt to resurrect HB 400 by adding all of its anti-teacher provisions to one of the bills already has been confirmed. There also will be an attempt to attach a voucher bill to one of the bills as well. We are still waiting for all the amendments so we can sort through what other mischief they might contain. And, there may be more trouble because this will be one of the last chances to pass new legislation on the House floor. Please have your members use the 1-800-260-5444 number and tell their representatives to vote NO on the HB 400 amendment and NO on the voucher amendment. We will send out additional alerts as more information becomes available.
Remember, the provisions of HB 400, which died in the form of a separate bill last week, would raise the 22-1 class size cap in K-4, eliminate the minimum salary schedule, allow districts to cut teacher pay and order furloughs and weaken teachers’ employment rights.
The voucher amendment is being promoted by groups that want to shrink state government and divert tax dollars from public to private schools. This is a particularly outrageous attempt at a time when legislative budget-writers already plan to cut billions of dollars from public education. According to some estimates, these voucher grants would be worth $2,500 to $5,000 apiece and cost the public schools another $1 billion to $2 billion in lost revenue each year.