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Help us stop SB-045

on Mon, 04/06/2015 - 16:44

Help us stop SB-045

SB-045 made its way out of the Colorado Senate and is scheduled to be heard in the House Education and Finance Committees, taking it one step closer to becoming a law.  We know that tax credits are just a backdoor voucher because they take funding meant for public schools and transfer it to private and mostly religious schools violating the prohibition in the Colorado Constitution against public funding for religious schools.  We will be at the Capitol asking the members of the House Education and Finance Committees to oppose this legislation  You can join us by sending a message to House Education and Finance Committee that you oppose vouchers in all forms.

Please send a message to all the members of the Education and Finance Committees:

Committee Members - Finance

Lois Court, Chair
Mike Foote, Vice-Chair
KC Becker
Dan Pabon         
Jim Wilson
Kathleen Conti
Kevin Priola   
Alec Garnett
Kit Roupe         
Daniel Kagan
Kevin Van Winkle

Committee Members - Education

John Buckner, Chair
Brittany Pettersen, Vice-Chair
Justin Everett
Paul Lundeen
JoAnn Windholz
Rhonda Fields
Dominick Moreno
Alec Garnett
Kevin Priola    
Pete Lee
Jim Wilson

Dear (Insert Representative's Name),

As a taxpayer and Colorado citizen, I respectfully requests that you oppose SB 15-045, Income Tax Credits for Nonpublic Education.

Tax credits are vouchers and just like traditional vouchers, tax credits create a loss of tax revenue which will effect school funding.   After years of cuts, Colorado public schools can’t sustain more loss of funding.

Tax credits ignore economies of scale. The state will not see a savings from students leaving the public system.  When one student leaves a classroom, the lights are still on, a teacher is still teaching and savings is not realized. What is felt is less revenue for the remaining students in a classroom. The tax credit program thereby reduces and harms the choice of a high quality neighborhood school, which research shows the vast majority of parents choose for their children. 

Tax credits transfer public money to private schools that are not subject to discrimination and accountability laws.

Tax credits violate the Colorado Constitution’s explicit prohibition of funding religious schools by laundering taxpayer money to private, predominately religious schools.

There is no evidence that tax credits provide any educational benefit. Research has shown students in public schools perform as well if not better than private school students once socioeconomic demographics are factored in. 

There is also no research to prove the much vaunted claim that tax credits improve public schools through competition.  Proponents of vouchers claim that the threat of losing students to private schools would force public schools to improve, however this claim has not been proven by credible research.

The program could lead to socioeconomic discrimination and segregation. The roughly $3200 given for the voucher will not cover most private school tuition.   If a family cannot make up the difference between the voucher and the cost of tuition, the family would not benefit from the program.

Colorado students need a public school system that provides great programs and services to help all children meet their potential.  Tax credits would only weaken that system by diverting public dollars to unaccountable private schools.  Please join us in opposing this legislation.

Thank you for your interest in my opinion on this very important matter.

Your Name & Address