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Another Voucher Bill introduced in the Colorado General Assembly--Help us stop it!

on Tue, 03/17/2015 - 14:57

On Monday, March 23, 2015 the State House Education Committee will be hearing HB 15-1196, "Colorado Flexible Lifetime Learning Expenditures Account Act"(C-FLEX).  C-FLEX is yet another attempt to defund and privatize our public schools. Once again, this is another voucher with a fancy name. Like traditional vouchers and tax credits, special needs vouchers take funding meant for public schools and transfer it to private schools.  We will be at the Capitol on Monday asking the members of the House Education Committee to oppose this legislation.  You can join us by sending a message to the House Education Committee telling them that you oppose vouchers in all forms.

Please send a message to all the members of the Education Committee:

John Buckner, Chair john.buckner.house@state.co.us
Brittany Pettersen, Vice-Chair brittany.pettersen.house@state.co.us
Justin Everett justin.everett.house@state.co.us
Paul Lundeen paul.lundeen.house@state.co.us
JoAnn Windholz joann.windholz.house@state.co.us
Rhonda Fields rhonda.fields.house@state.co.us
Dominick Moreno    dominick.moreno.house@state.co.us
Alec Garnett alec.garnett.house@state.co.us
Kevin Priola kpriola@gmail.com    
Pete Lee pete.lee.house@state.co.us
Jim Wilson james.wilson.house@state.co.us

Here is a sample letter:

Dear (Insert Name),

As a taxpayer and Colorado citizen, I respectfully request that you oppose HB 15-1196, Colorado Flexible Lifetime Learning Expenditures Account Act(C-FLEX).

I believe that all children should have the opportunity for a thorough and uniform public education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has made great progress ensuring that all students receive public education services that help them become successful in school and beyond.

In Colorado, a new bill in the General Assembly threatens the protections that students with special needs as well as gifted students currently receive. House Bill 15-1196, "Colorado Flexible Lifetime Learning Expenditures Account Act"(C-FLEX).  C-FLEX is a special needs voucher and we urge you to vote against it for these reasons:

  • Families who use the special needs vouchers would give up their child’s rights and protections guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, including the right to a legally-enforceable Individualized Education Program (IEP).
  • Special needs vouchers take tax dollars out of public school districts, starving already cash strapped public schools, thereby hurting the students who remain in those schools by further depleting funding.  This will be especially felt for gifted and special needs students.
  • This voucher program segregates students from their peer group and ignores the benefits and compassion learned by all students when special needs and gifted peers are included in educational programing for all students.  
  • As with other voucher programs, House Bill 1196 ignores economies of scale and is financially flawed.  The amount of the voucher is not enough cover the true cost of education, and lacks accountability.

Special need vouchers are just another privatization scheme and we hope you will join us in opposing this bill by voting no when HB 15-1196 comes before the House Education Committee.

Sincerely,

(Your Name & Address)