I can and will take action on the following:
HR 610 is the start of dismantling of the public school system, requiring states to fund vouchers for private schools (read the bill summary.)
The bill is in the House – Education and the Workforce Committee. You can contact the committee member from Florida, Representative Fredericka Wilson 202-225-4506 or visit her contact page (phone calls are more effective.)
Sample call script: (you will get a staff person, so be nice)
[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]
“Hi, my name is <<First Name>>, and I live in Florida. I am calling in opposition to HR 610. This bill will allow taxpayer money to go to private schools. In the state of Florida, 85% of private schools are religiously affiliated. Private schools can discriminate on who they admit and are exempt from any of the educational requirements of the state.
It also repeals the “No Hungry Kids Act” which requires schools to meet nutritional standards for lunch and breakfast, leaving poor children vulnerable to malnutrition.
Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.”
H.R.610 – To distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students and to repeal a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in schools.
Requires states to issue vouchers for private schools, including religious schools.
Summary of bill:
- This bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and limits the authority of the Department of Education (ED) such that ED is authorized only to award block grants to qualified states.
- The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA’s geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.
- To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1) comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child.
- No Hungry Kids Act – The bill repeals a specified rule that established certain nutrition standards for the national school lunch and breakfast programs. (In general, the rule requires schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat free milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in school meals; and meet children’s nutritional needs within their caloric requirements.)