Legislative day 26 was long on the House and Senate side but the real action will occur tomorrow when the Senate takes up SB 173, known as the Education Savings Account bill but really it is a voucher. The unfortunate issue is the bill proposes providing more money for the voucher student than the student choosing to remain in the traditional public school. I have always believed that it does not matter what our politicians say, where they spend the tax payers money is where their values are the strongest. The formula looks like this from your local district allotment sheet. QBE Earnings – Local Five Mill Share= what the state sends you (as shown on your system allotment sheet) The amount of Total QBE earnings on your allotment sheet v. the Total amount the state is sending to you is the difference of the percentage of LFMS which is deducted from your total QBE earnings.
The voucher student will not have the five mill share deducted from the amount of money dropped into their ESA where the parent will take “full responsibility for the (QBE) state funded account”. Yet the legislation has language in it that requires the local school system to prepare and submit quarterly reports to GOSA (who is required to administer the voucher program) on these voucher students. On line 109 of the bill it reads “Upon acceptance of the account the parent assumes full financial responsibility for the education of the participating student”. Why are local systems being required to complete a quarterly report on the resident voucher student? I say trust the parent to complete the quarterly reports -as well. The new formula will now include an additional deduction from your QBE earnings of “voucher student QBE earnings”. This is not revenue neutral as has been claimed. This deduction will represent the Local Five Mill Share percentage that is unique to your local system. The inequity of this can be devastating to the local systems allotment QBE earnings.
Priority one is to contact your Senator to advise them to vote NO on SB 173.
There were many bills that moved and i will review those later. Let’s focus our efforts on weighing in on the financial impact this bill will have to your local district and communicating that to your Senator. Thank you for your efforts.