Voucher vampires. Updated: Possible vote tonight, Wednesday. Call now: http://tinyurl.com/3y4c5on

Just when you thought it was safe, the vampire returns.

SB2494, aka the Chicago voucher bill, which we thought was dead a month ago, may return.

The bill, which would take away  $100 million from public schools and hand it to private and
religious schools in Chicago, was 12 votes short of passage on May 5.

When the sponsors saw they were short of the votes they needed they withdrew the bill. The House sponsor Wednesday filed an amendment to the bill.

Want to know how your Rep was going to vote? Here’s the video of the House vote board.

IL House shoots down Chicago voucher bill. Now go to work and fund schools.

UPDATE: Catalyst is reporting that while the bill has been placed on “delayed consideration,” it is unlikely that it will be brought up before the House adjourns on Friday.

UPDATE: Voucher bill may have been placed on “delayed consideration,” putting off the final vote. Keep calling.

Moments ago the Illinois House voted down the Chicago voucher bill. It would have been the largest voucher program in the nation.

Clout St.:

The Illinois House today shot down landmark school voucher legislation that aimed to allow children to transfer from the worst-performing Chicago public elementary schools to private and parochial schools.

The legislation would have set up the largest voucher program in the nation if all 30,000 Chicago Public Schools students eligible took part. Teacher unions opposed the measure, which also would have needed final approval from the Senate and the signature of Gov. Pat Quinn, who was non-committal about the issue today.

The legislation got 48 votes, but needed 60 to pass. The debate was lengthy and often emotional.

Rep. Art Turner, D-Chicago, delivered a lengthy, impassioned speech calling for the measure’s defeat. But he also railed against the current educational system, saying improvements need to be made in the home life of children and in the Chicago Public Schools, where 10 of the worst schools are in his legislative district.

“Chicago board. Get busy,” Turner bellowed. “Do what you’re supposed to do.”

Chicago voucher bill. So, it has come back to this.

Every couple of years the opponents of public schools come up with a new idea for starving the perceived beasts. Their beasts are public schools and public school teachers and unions.

For a while the hot ticket was vouchers. Every right-wing think tank and pundit was pushing vouchers. In a few scattered cities, they got it.

Like Milwaukee.

For the students, things didn’t change much. The state legislatures continued to short urban and many rural school districts of funding. Every once in a while a study would show that kids going to private schools with vouchers weren’t doing much better than their buddies who were going to the neighborhood public school. And if you were a student with Special Needs, or an English Language Learner, your family would be crazy to send you to a private school, even with a voucher, since few had programs that addressed these needs.

Plus, defenders of public schools as democratic institutions made it politically unwise to spend tax money on private, often parochial, schools.

After a while, the Reformers changed tactics. Charter schools became the weapon of choice. As time has passed, charter schools are coming under greater scrutiny, and while still popular among anti-public school Reformers, recent scandals and studies have cost them some support.

Here in Illinois, we now see the rebirth of vouchers for Chicago. The renewed attempts to bring life back to the voucher movement is the clearest signal yet of the failure of the Duncan/Daley Renaissance 2010 charter, school closing, school turn-around strategy.

However, the real scandal is that in a year when the General Assembly has not yet passed a budget, is threatening to cut $1.3 billion in school aid, refuses to pass a tax increase of 1%, let along HB 174 which would raise three times that amount to fund schools and social services, they are considering spending $100 million on a voucher program for Chicago.

Vouchers rise from the dead. Daley/Duncan school Renaissance is buried.

Nothing better illustrates the death of the Richard Daley-Arne Duncan Renaissance 2010 school reform hoax than the vote that is scheduled to take place today in the Illinois General Assembly on vouchers.

However the vote on vouchers for Chicago schools turns out (or if the vote actually happens), Daley’s support for it, along with the support of other members of the Chicago Democratic Party Machine, makes  it very clear that Ren Ten is over.

Although truth be told, the death certificate was signed a while ago. Today they are just having the funeral.

And for those who thought that the idea of taking public funds away from public schools in the form of vouchers was so 1990s, it is back with a vengeance in the form of SB 2494.

If you haven’t done it already, this morning be sure to contact your state rep and tell them to vote no on SB 2494.

Wing-nuts heartbroken over Obama DC voucher decision.

President Obama’s final decision to phase out the DC voucher program is a blow to the wing-nuts at Fordham and elsewhere. They were hoping to use the DC program as a foot in the door on vouchers. But it is “as unfortunate a decision as good have been expected,” says Andy Smarick at Flypaper.

While the President’s budget will include funding for the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, it will formalize the Department’s recent decision to not allow any new students to join.

Assuming Congress approves the President’s proposal, the program won’t die immediately.  It will just wither on the vine.

Shameful voucher ploy.


Not-so-dumb Joanne Jacobs pulls out all the cynical stops on the story of DC vouchers. 

There’s the picture of the two Obama girls at Sidwell, the upper crusty private Quaker school in Washington.

Then there’s the two poor kids who only get to go to Sidwell because of Michelle Rhee’s voucher subsidy to the Catholic school system of Washington DC.

What kind of cruel bastard would want to pull the poor children out of Sidwell by taking away their vouchers?

Eeesh. No need to address the voucher issues when your playing this sick game.

Duncan and congressional Dems divided over DC vouchers.

Congressional Democrats acted to cut off Michelle Rhee’s private school voucher program last week. Her program funneled large amounts of dollars into the Catholic schools of Washington DC, essentially a tax subsidy to the Church.

Now EdSec (call me Arne) Duncan, while opposing vouchers in general, has positoned himself in support of the DC voucher program.

According to the AP:

Duncan says that D.C. is a special case and that kids already going to private schools on the public dime should be allowed to continue. Still, he says vouchers are not the answer. The goal should not be to help a handful of children, he says, but to create new schools that help whole neighborhoods.

Obama on vouchers? McCain gets it.

Obama on vouchers. McCain gets it.

Funny that the Republicrat bunch like Joe Williams and Whitney Tilson try to turn Obama into a voucher vulcher, while the often befuddled John McCain understands Obama perfectly.

Speaking to what EdWeek described as a “tepid reception” at the NAACP convention in Cincinnati, McCain said,

In remarks to the American Federation of Teachers last weekend, Senator Obama dismissed public support for private school vouchers for low-income Americans as, ‘tired rhetoric about vouchers and school choice. All of that went over well with the teachers’ union, but where does it leave families and their children who are stuck in failing schools? … When a public system fails, repeatedly, to meet these minimal objectives, parents ask only for a choice in the education of their children.

In fact, from his support for so-called choice, vouchers, attacks on teacher unions to his phony concerns with poor and minority families (Certainly, the NAACP delegates saw this as pandering), McCain sounds like a dues paying member of Democrats for Education Reform.