Block this BAD voucher and school nutritional standards bill (HR 610)!

Oppose HR610 “Choices in Education Act”, which distributes federal funds for school vouchers and decreases nutritional standards for school lunch

The data is out on voucher programs and it’s not good. Yet, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos plans to make vouchers a key priority in national education anyway, starting with HR 610. HR610 was introduced in Congress in January and will receive a vote in the House soon.

What is HR610?

This is a 2 part bill. The first part of the bill is called the “Choices in Education Act of 2017,” which:

  • repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and limits the authority of the Department of Education (ED) so the ED can only to award block grants to qualified states and
  • establishes an education voucher program through which each state distributes block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA’s geographical area to distribute among parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child.

To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1) comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child.

Public education experts believe this bill will disrupt education in schools, eliminate crucial Title 1 funding and diminish teacher quality.

The other part of H.R. 610 includes the “No Hungry Kids Act”, a deceptive title. In fact, this provision eliminates a specified rule that established certain nutrition standards for the national school lunch and breakfast programs. (In general, the rule requires schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat free milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in school meals; and meet children’s nutritional needs within their caloric requirements.).

HR610 means schools do NOT have to comply with nutritional standards.

Both parts of this bill are bad for Utah families. Let’s help to block it.

CALL TO ACTION

  • Contact your U.S. Representative to ask them to oppose HR 610! If you get their voicemail, be sure to leave your name, address and zip code to ensure that your call gets counted. Don’t know who your Representative is? Click here to find out.
  • Send a letter to your U.S. Representative using this online letter writing tool.
  • Sign this petition to Congress and Trump opposing block grants, vouchers and HR 610, posted on our Petitions, Petitions! page.

Want to know more about vouchers? Check out these resources:

Washington Post: “DeVos favors private school vouchers but new study says they don’t offer real edge over public schools

NY Times: Upshot dismal results from vouchers surprise researchers as DeVos era begins

NY Times: “DeVos and Tax Credit Vouchers: Arizona Shows What Can Go Wrong

 

 


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