Under the Dome

Tillis to address gospel concert crowd Tuesday

House Speaker Thom Tillis will address a crowd of gospel concert attendees Tuesday night in support of efforts to have tax revenue pay some students' private school tuition.

Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina is sponsoring a concert in Greensboro featuring gospel singer Marvin Sapp. About 2,000 people will attend the event "advocating for expanded educational options for all families," according to Parents for Educational Freedom.

The organization supports a bipartisan House bill that would offer vouchers to parents who move their children from public to private schools. The bill, which sets out income guidelines for qualifying families, proposes spending $90 million over the next two years on a voucher program.

The bill's four primary sponsors, Reps. Marcus Brandon, Ed Hanes, Rob Bryan and Brian Brown, are expected to attend.


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The School Voucher Plan

The School Voucher Plan would harm public schools by reducing school funding, and forcing the remaining pupil personnel in the public schools to absorb the more expensive 'special needs' students. This voucher would primarily benefit only wealthy taxpayers.

The current average per pupil spending in NC is $6745. This includes the cost of building construction and upkeep which will remain constant even with reduction of actual student population, so these costs spread over a lower population will raise per pupil cost. Also, the removal of relatively low cost, highly performing students will leave the public schools with a higher percentage of higher cost at-risk and special-needs children which are routinely refused admission to private schools, also raising per pupil cost. The claim that vouchers averaging $4000 will save schools money is false.

The average cost of a year of private school can be $8000/year to $20,000/year, depending on grade level and location. A $4000 voucher, the most a poor family can claim, would cover less than half the cost of tuition to a school that also does not provide free transportation or free meals. The only tax break here is to wealthy taxpayers who chose private schools for their children. These taxpayers benefit from living in an educated populace and should be paying full tax rates for that.

Now Tillis makes it obvious this taxpayer give-away is aimed to benefit Church supported private schools, with taxpayer money, to the detriment of public school funding. Shame! -
k leigh

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