A recent Senate bill would result in public schools being drained of millions if it passes as law, analysis says

A group advocating public education stated that a newly passed Senate bill allowing parents to have aid from the state to send children to private rather than public schools would end with much-needed finances – in the area of millions – being drained from public schools.

Essentially, the law would allow parents who are employed at certain scholarship companies to get approximately $3,500 to allocate towards expenses at whatever school the family chooses, or even to fund home-schooling. This amount is 95% of the state grant per-pupil.

Supporters of school choice state that assumptions of the analysis were “unrealistic” regarding the number of families who would actually use the state aid in the event the bill is passed as law.

However, if the number of families taking advantage of the law is high, hundreds of teachers may lose their jobs: between an estimated 100-500 positions.

So far, the bill has been voted on by six out of nine subcommittee members at the Education House Committee. It is highly likely that the bill will be recommended and pass on to the upper levels of the committee.

Those opposed to the bill express concern at the potentially huge resource drain public schools will suffer

The public school advocacy groups stated that if families selected the option of sending their child to a private school, districts would lose much-needed funding, such as aid provided by the state for reduced price or free lunches for disadvantaged students.

The analysis revealed that if even 1 percent of the state’s students utilize the new program, public education would lose $6.3 million.

Proponents of the bill dismiss worries over a potential public education finance drain, saying that it’s likely to be a “small minority” of students and families who will take advantage of the law.