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Urgent! Action Needed!

on Wed, 01/28/2015 - 17:26

Tomorrow, Thursday, January 29th the State Senate Education Committee will be hearing SB 15-045, Income Tax Credits for Nonpublic Education.  Make no mistake, tax credits are just vouchers with a new name.  Just like traditional vouchers, tax credits 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 tomorrow asking the members of the Senate Education Committee to oppose this legislation.  You can join us by sending a message to Senate Education Committee that you oppose vouchers in all forms.

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

Owen Hill, Chair - owen.hill.senate@state.co.us

Vicki Marble, Vice Chair - vicki.marble.senate@state.co.us

Chris Holbert - chris.holbert.senate@state.co.us

Mike Johnston - mike.johnston.senate@state.co.us

Andy Kerr - SenatorAndyKerr@gmail.com

Michael Merrifield - michael.merrifield.senate@state.co.us

Tim Neville - tim.neville.senate@state.co.us

Nancy Todd - nancy.todd.senate@state.co.us

Laura Woods - laura.woods.senate@state.co.us

 At a loss for words? Here is a sample letter:

Dear (Insert Senator’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 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.

Sincerely,

Your Name & Address