If you can spare some time this Monday and Tuesday, please call some members of the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee (listed below) and ask them (nicely, politely, but firmly) to oppose Congressman Jason Chaffetz’s DC voucher bill.
The bill–expected to be introduced tomorrow–will be voted on Wednesday morning. It is expected to be, at the least, a reauthorization of the SOAR Act and possibly an expansion of the DC voucher program.
Why is this bad?
Well, either would represent a diversion of much-needed public education money to private, religious, and home schools–which has been opposed by our DC elected officials. (Here is a 2015 letter from DC council members opposing the SOAR reauthorization.)
As it is, most kids in DC with vouchers use that public money to attend private religious schools, which are not bound to the same accountability as public schools in DC.
Now, in these times of political division, it may be heartwarming to see the Democratic co-chair of our very own cross sector task force (and former DC mayor) endorse not only vouchers, but also the new U.S. (Republican) education secretary Betsy DeVos, who has donated millions to, erm, inspire such public school privatizing efforts–and now has a Cabinet post! Some may even regard the recent phone banking efforts of Democrats for Education Reform to, uh, persuade DC citizens to adopt corporate school accountability measures as a similarly welcome, bipartisan effort.
That said, we (phone banked) DC citizens are still funding all of these efforts with our tax money. And as we still have a democracy (as of this writing!), we need to ensure that the tax money of we the public is indeed used for public concerns–including our public schools.
So, when you call the folks below, please remind them that our public schools are controlled by our actual, elected officials who do not want such vouchers–and that no one anywhere elected congressional representatives to oversee DC public schools.
Justin Amash, MI, 202-225-3831
Rod Blum, IA, 202-225-2911
Jason Chaffetz, UT, 202-225-7751
James Comer, KY, 202-225-3115
Ron DeSantis, FL, 202-225-2706
Scott DesJarlais, TN, 202-225-6831
John Duncan, Jr., TN, 202-225-5435
Blake Farenthold, TX, 202-225-7742
Virginia Foxx, NC, 202-225-2071
Paul Gosar, AZ, 202-225-2315
Trey Gowdy, SC, 202-225-6030
Glenn Grothman, WI, 202-225-2476
Jody Hice, GA, 202-225-4101
Will Hurd, TX, 202-225-4511
Darrell Issa, CA, 202-225-3906
Jim Jordan, OH, 202-225-2676
Thomas Massie, KY, 202-225-3465
Mark Meadows, NC, 202-225-6401
Paul Mitchell, MI, 202-225-2106
Gary Palmer, AL, 202-225-4921
Dennis Ross, FL, 202-225-1252
Steve Russell, OK, 202-225-2132
Mark Sanford, SC, 202-225-3176
Mark Walker, NC, 202-225-3065