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Measure To Give Up To $14,000 in School Vouchers Could Be On 2022 Ballot

The Educational Freedom Act initiative is just one of several education proposed propositions hoping to make the 2022 ballot

By Evan Symon, November 1, 2021 11:59 am

With the 2022 General Election now only a year away, many serious races are now looking deeper into signature collection and the June primaries. But for many parents looking at alternative schools and homeschooling due to new vaccine mandates for students and low public school ratings, a new proposed ballot initiative that would give up to $14,000 per student to attend private schools is quickly making headway into being on the ballot in 2022.

According to the California Education Savings Accounts Initiative (Educational Freedom Act), one of a slew of proposed ballot initiatives currently collecting signatures for next year, California would provide yearly voucher payments of $14,000 into education savings accounts for K-12 students attending accredited private schools. The initiative would include religious schools, eliminating the current constitutional ban on public funding going towards religious and other private schools. California would not be allowed to set requirements on certain standards, such as teacher credentialing, curriculum, or disciplinary policies, but would need to meet educational standards in order to graduate and advance in grades, as well as meet state health and safety standards.

Funds for the vouchers would come directly from both the California state General Fund and local property taxes, with any extra funds from the vouchers after tuition and other private schools costs going to college, vocational training, and other higher education costs. If funds remain by the time the student is 30, all remaining funds will go back to the state.

Following the proposed proposition receiving the okay to start collecting signatures last month by the Attorney General’s office, many groups quickly voiced opposition to the initiative, most notably, public school teacher groups and unions. Public school teachers unions, most notably the California Teachers Association (CTA), already have been fighting back against numerous proposed initiatives that would weaken public schools and teachers unions, including the Constitutional Right to a Higher Quality Public Education Act and initiatives that would challenge current tenure firing rules. The $14,000 for private education would just be another line in the sand for them.

“If this is passed by voters, public schools would have to compete with wealthier private schools,” said Andrea Dominguez, a public school teacher in California whose school would be severely challenged by the possible new law due to a number of private schools in the district, to the Globe on Monday. “Public schools are the building blocks of this nation. This would erase them and severely weaken how much we can teach children not wealthy enough to go to private schools, even with that voucher.”

A huge possible expansion for private schools in California

However, proponents of the proposed initiative say it will give students equal access to private schools, and would give lower-income students a possible head start on higher education by using unspent private school voucher funds. California currently has around 6.6 million K-12 students, with only 471,000 going to private schools. If passed, the initiative would raise this number and, if unchallenged, could begin more private school start-ups in the Golden State.

“Today marks the culmination of three years of hard work from our dedicated network of grassroots supporters that created this real movement for true school choice reform,” said Californians for School Choice Chairman Mike Alexander last month. “Under the Educational Freedom Act students would be able to attend any accredited private or religious school of their choice and save any money left over for college, vocational training or other qualified expense. The Educational Freedom Act is unique because it does not call for a means test. It gives all students equal access to accredited schools that they might not be otherwise able to afford. There are no caps on the savings accounts.”

The proposed proposition will have until April 11, 2022 to get 623,212 valid voter signatures to appear on the 2022 General Election ballot, although more signatures will be needed to combat invalid and unusable signatures.

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7 thoughts on “Measure To Give Up To $14,000 in School Vouchers Could Be On 2022 Ballot

  1. Not only would it give access to charter and private schools but it just may take away power from the power hungry unions.
    It is because of the unions that our schools were shut down for over a year. They also influenced the decision to force the children into all day mask wearing and mRNA injection mandates.
    The public schools are in need of fierce competition to elevate education and return to teaching basic concepts well.

    Just for the record I respect and support teachers who just want to teach. It is the unions that once represented them that have unfortunately have turned into a political, power driven machine.

  2. As a product of the crappy California Public school system, I’m all for this.

    I’d also like to see a ballot initiative that requires live streaming of all public school classrooms and maybe also Public funded Colleges. Wouldn’t that put a few wild hairs up the CTA’s ass.

  3. Correction: The Educational Freedom Act is a state constitutional amendment so it needs just under 1 million verified signatures. Given that the Dem Party cheats like the sun rises in the morning, and given that we are attacking one of the cornerstones of the enemies power, we need at least 2 million actual signatures.

  4. THE SCHOOL CHOICE CHOICE: “BOLD COLORS” or “PALE PASTEL”

    Thanks to the political selfishness, or worse, of Ric Grenell, there are two School Choice initiatives out for signature. The “Educational Freedom Act” sponsored by the California School Choice Foundation [https://www.CaliforniaSchoolChoice.org/] is, in Ronald Reagan’s words, the “bold colors” version of School Choice. When it is enacted in 2022, it will be the strongest, broadest most comprehensive School Choice law in America. Grenell’s watered down “Educational Savings Account Act” is, again in Ronald Reagan’s words, the “pale pastel” version.

    The California School Choice Foundation drafted the Educational Freedom Act understanding that after it is enacted, the #DemParty and the teacher unions will do everything possible to sabotage it [just as Grenell is doing with his “Johnnie come lately,” competing School Choice initiative].

    Here are the principal and principle differences:

    FIRST YEAR FUNDING:

    The Educational Freedom Act: $14,000

    Grenell’s Educational Savings Account Act: $13,000

    Therefore, under Grenell’s watered down, “pale pastel” Educational Savings Account Act, California children will always be behind the funding curve compared to the Educational Freedom Act.

    CAP ON THE EDUCATIONAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

    The Educational Freedom Act:
    No cap on the amount children may accumulate in their Educational Savings Accounts for college or vocational training.

    Grenell’s Educational Savings Account Act:
    A $60,000 cap. If children save more than $60,000, amounts above $60,000 revert to the government.

    $60,000 does not go very far in most colleges. Therefore, under Grenell’s watered down, “pale pastel” Educational Savings Account Act, California children will always be behind the funding curve for college compared to the Educational Freedom Act.

    ELIGIBILITY and PHASE IN:

    The Educational Freedom Act:
    All California children are eligible from day one.

    Grenell’s Educational Savings Account Act:
    A four year phase in based on income.

    Therefore, Grenell’s watered down, “pale pastel” Educational Savings Account Act will trap and keep millions of California children in the (educationally) failing but (indoctrinationally) effective Government Run Schools for four more years.

    HOMESCHOOLING FAMILIES

    The Educational Freedom Act:
    All California children are eligible without discrimination. All Homeschoolers are eligible, including private school affidavit (PSA) homeschooling children.

    Grenell’s Educational Savings Account Act:
    PSA homeschooling children are excluded.

    PROTECTING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN PRIVATE AND HOMESCHOOL FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND TEACHER UNIONS

    The Educational Freedom Act:
    Specifically prohibits government mandates regarding curriculum, teacher credentialing requirements, disciplinary policies, and admission policies. Specifically protects faith based curriculum. Children may not be suspended except for ineligibility or specific parent/student prohibited acts.

    Grenell’s Educational Savings Account Act:
    Silent.

    Therefore, Grenell’s watered down, “pale pastel” Educational Savings Account Act allows the #DemParty and teacher unions to turn private schools and home schools into (educationally) failing but (indoctrinationally) effective Government Run Schools. Grenell’s Educational Savings Account Act also allows the #DemParty and teacher unions to find new ways to deny School Choice to California children.

    PROTECTING THE FUNDING

    The Educational Savings Account Act:
    Requires the state to fund the Educational Savings Account trust on August 1 and December 31 in equal amounts. Requires nine equal monthly payments to private schools between August 15 and May 15.

    Grenell’s Educational Savings Account Act:
    Allows the state to fund the Educational Savings Account trust with three or more unequal payments, without specified dates. Allows an equal monthly payments to private schools without specified dates.

    Therefore, Grenell’s watered down, “pale pastel” Educational Savings Account Act allows the #DemParty and teacher unions to hinder, interfere with, and the sabotage School Choice by manipulating payment of the required funds to the Educational Savings Account trust and from the trust to private schools. Again, Grenell’s Educational Savings Account Act fails to protect California children.

    MEMBERSHIP ON THE EDUCATIONAL SAVINGS ACCOUNT TRUST BOARD

    The Educational Freedom Act:
    Requires representatives of charter schools, private schools, religious schools and homeschooling families. The state Supt of Public Instruction is a nonvoting member.

    Grenell’s Educational Savings Account Act:
    Includes representatives of private and religious schools, but not charter schools and homeschooling families. Makes the Supt. of Public Instruction a voting member.

    Therefore, Grenell’s watered down, “pale pastel” Educational Savings Account Act excludes representatives of millions of California children. But, Grenell’s Educational Savings Account Act gives vote to the Supt. of Public Instruction, [who will always be a front man or woman for the teacher unions and a sworn enemy of School Choice].

    ******************************
    THEREFORE, all Californians and Americans who support School Choice should support the California School Choice Foundation’s Educational Freedom Act. It truly is “for the children.” There is no better time to enact School Choice than now. Join the cause to save our children and our country at https://www.CaliforniaSchoolChoice.org/

    If you have the chance, tell Ric Grenell not to be a School Choice saboteur, and if he choose to be a School Choice saboteur, remember that when he runs for office.

  5. Let’s not do this! When any of our governments “give” us $$$ then that government will say, “Now you will do as we say” and that will end actual school choice because those schools getting the “government money” will then be told what and how to teach. Do Not Take Government Money even though it is our taxes and not really government money. The government has no money, just our taxes. Do as my mom and dad did, do it on your own and lock the government out of your life.

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