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April 8, 2011
I strongly urge you to vote NO on H.R. 471, the Scholarships for
Opportunity Results (SOAR) Act. This unnecessary bill would renew and
expand the failed District of Columbia private school voucher program at
Vouchers are not real education reform. Pulling 1,200 children out of a
system that serves 65,000 doesn't solve problems - it ignores them.
Rather than offering an empty promise for a few, we should be ensuring
that every child has access to a great public school. And, instead of
taking money out of public schools for private schools, Congress should be
investing in strategies to improve student achievement.
Our focus should be on strategies proven to increase student achievement,
such as increasing parental involvement, strengthening teacher training,
and reducing class size. And, our goal should be to prepare all students
for the jobs of the future, not to allow a few students and parents to
choose a private school at taxpayer expense.
When public schools are struggling and teachers are being laid off, the
last thing we need is to spend money on private schools. As Congress is
proposing drastic reductions in federal spending, including a House-passed
bill slashing billions from core education programs, there is no reason to
divert millions of dollars to vouchers.
I urge you to vote NO on H.R. 471.