RICHMOND - This afternoon, the Virginia Senate rejected a bill introduced by Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) to establish "Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts"; a thinly veiled attempt to pull taxpayer dollars out of public schools and into the pockets of parents who wish to home school their children or send their children to private schools with no accountability or oversight. SB 1243 was unanimously opposed by Democrats and died on the tie-breaking vote of Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam.
Said Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, "Economic opportunity for all Virginians begins with making sure that every child has access to a good quality school. SB 1243 would have diverted taxpayer dollars to a school voucher system, giving some children a leg up while leaving far more behind. Our teachers and public schools have given so many Virginians, including myself, the opportunity to succeed, and I will continue to be a strong advocate for them."
Said Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria), "This bill would have specifically put taxpayer dollars into private schools with zero public oversight. Further, all schools receiving public dollars should meet the same standards as public schools. Virginia's children deserve better."
Said Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), "Our public schools are underfunded and our teachers are underpaid. The students who suffer the most under the current system are not the children who are going to be helped by measures like this. They are our special needs students, they are our students living under the poverty line, they are our students from broken homes. What will help them is fully funding public education -- not taking funding away."

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