HB 389 would take money away from public schools

Richmond, Va. -- This afternoon, the Virginia Senate passed Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-Loudoun) HB389, which aims to establish Virginia Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts. The bill would divert funds from public schools in favor of allowing parents of certain students to spend those monies on educational expenses — including tuition at private and religious schools. HB 389 passed on a party-line — but not veto-proof — vote, and now makes its way to the Governor’s desk.

Said Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke), “What this bill would do is siphon off public school money for parents to put into a separate account to pay for private schools. This change would do great harm to our public schools. We need to be supporting public education in Virginia — not defunding it.”

Said Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), “This bill would have a hugely negative impact on schools' ability to provide the support and services that our special needs students really need. Under this bill, school systems would have to set up an entire process for accepting applications from parents who want to remove their children from school. That unfunded burden would mean fewer dollars for classroom teaching."

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