Newark NJ — June 22, 2010

Education Law Center, New Jersey’s leading advocate for public school students, is calling on legislators to “just say no” to a last ditch effort to bring school vouchers to the state, this time by rewriting the bill to secure the support of “local legislators.”

The latest maneuver, announced today by voucher bill sponsor Senator Raymond Lesniak, comes as the legislative session is drawing to a close. None of the specific changes to the bill have been made public, and no legislative committee in either the Senate or Assembly is scheduled to conduct public hearings on the revised bill.

The voucher bill, dubbed the “NJ Opportunity Scholarship Act” (S1872), would divert $360 million in public funds to subsidize education in private and religious schools. Senator Lesniak is pushing for voucher funding for private and religious schools at the same time the Legislature is set to approve a FY2011 State Budget that contains a more than $1 billion cut in funding to public schools across the state.

“The voucher bill is like Swiss cheese. It has so many holes it can’t be fixed, no matter how hard and how many times the bill’s supporters try,” said Dr. Lauren Hill, ELC Program Director.

“It’s time for Legislators to ‘just say no’ and reject the use of scarce taxpayer dollars to subsidize private and religious schools without being held accountable to meet the State’s education standards,” Dr. Hill added.

Education Law Center Press Contact:
Sharon Krengel
Policy & Outreach Coordinator
email: skrengel@edlawcenter.org
voice: 973 624-1815 x24

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Press Contact:
Sharon Krengel
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications
973-624-1815, x240