February 26, 2019
Special Capitol Report & Advocacy Alert
Your Help Needed Today Regarding Vouchers and Pay Raises
Please contact your House member today regarding the proposed educator pay raise and a harmful voucher bill. Access your House member’s contact information using your home address HERE .
Why Do Parents, Educators, and Taxpayers Oppose HB 301?
Via an Education Scholarship Account private school voucher program, HB 301 redirects significant public funding to private schools at the expense of local taxpayers and public school students. To date, no fiscal note has been produced. The legislation allows .5 percent of eligible students to participate in the voucher program, escalating to an enrollment cap of 5 percent total. HB 301 is currently assigned to a House Ways & Means subcommittee and should not move forward. Review PAGE’s report on a recent subcommittee hearing on the bill HERE .
Voucher Disadvantages Students Remaining in Local Public Schools
Under HB 301, students without an IEP would receive a voucher equivalent to 100 percent of the system-wide average per student of state funds for their resident school systems. These private school students would benefit from the bill’s calculation of funding weights for all students rather than being limited to the student group to which the voucher students belong.
Fiscal Impact on Local Public Schools
Under HB 301, students without an IEP will be entitled to a private school voucher equal to 100 percent of the system-wide per student average of state funds received by their local school systems, but that amount is higher than students’ local school districts would receive for general education students
If the system-wide average of state funds paid for a general education student is $5,506 per student, a voucher student would receive this amount.
However, a district would actually earn much less in state funding than the system-wide average for any such general education student:
As illustrated above, under HB 301, on average a school district’s QBE earnings would be reduced by $5,506 for each voucher student even though the district would have received far less in state funding for each student.  For grades 4 and higher, districts would lose more than twice as much as districts would receive. HB 301’s funding mechanism is harmful to local public schools and students who remain there.  
A voucher student would benefit from the weights for all students (including higher funded special education, gifted, remedial etc.) rather than being limited to the lower weight of the student group to which they belong (general education).
Good Educator Pay Raise News Early This Morning
Please join PAGE in thanking the House Appropriations Committee , particularly House Appropriations Chair Terry England (R-Auburn) and Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Robert Dickey (R-Musella) for including school psychologists, school social workers, school counselors, media specialists, and special education specialists in a historic pay raise. Instead of allocating a 2 percent raise on the state educator base pay of approximately $34,000 for some educators, the FY20 budget, approved by the House subcommittee this morning, awards certificated educators a pay raise of $2,775.

The subcommittee heard from PAGE as well as many school counselors, social workers, psychologists, and other concerned educators across the state. Please thank your House member for listening regarding the proposed raise when you contact him or her today.  
How to Contact Your House Member & What to Say
As always, educators are strongly encouraged to use their personal (not school) email addresses and electronic devices to contact policymakers outside of instructional time.

Stakeholders might mention the fiscal impact information cited above as well as studies from Indiana and Washington, DC that have shown that once programs like HB 301 are implemented, student outcomes are worse than had the students remained in their original public schools.

The most effective school advocacy ties factual messages to a legislator’s district and demonstrates the commitment of professional educators to the students they serve.

Please contact your House member today to say thank you for listening regarding the pay raise and to oppose HB 301.