Posts Tagged ‘tax credit’

Grassroots Lession 1

March 13, 2009

Objective: Find out who your State Senator and State Representative are and print or save their contact information.

1. Use your internet browser (e.g., Internet Explorer) to go to this webpage

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/

2. Type in your address and click “Submit” button.

3. Print or Save this webpage as an MHTML Document.

(For Internet Explorer, look for the toolbar at the top of this window that has “File Edit View Favorites…”. Click “File”; then click “Print” or “Save As…”; find a folder where you want to save the document; change the name of the document (if you don’t like “Who Represents Me—Districts By Address”); then click “Save” button.)

The most important name on this document is the name of your “Texas State Representative”. It is after “Texas State Senator” and before “Texas State Board of Education Member”. Why? Because the State Representative district is the smallest district. Therefore your vote counts more, since there are fewer total votes.

If you finish this lesson, please send me a email so that I can know who has completed what.
Bob Schoolfield
bob@LetsChooseSchools.com

In the next lesson, you will call your State Representative. I will suggest what you can say over the phone.

Grassroots Lesson 2

March 12, 2009

Objective: Call your State Representative and State Senator

If you completed Lesson 1, you now know the names and telephone numbers for your State Representative and Senator. Now you will call them. When you call, there is only a 1% chance that you will talk to your legislator. 99% of the time you will talk to one of their staff. That is fine because the staff will keep a record of the call. That is one of their main jobs.

Please be polite when talking to the legislator or staff. They usually tune out angry callers. They don’t mind talking about opposing views as long as the conversation is civil. The staff is not the decision-makers so they are not responsible for any decision the legislator makes, so please be polite.

A typical call would include these items.

1. My name is ____________________.

2. I live in Representative/Senator ______________________ ‘s district. (Since you can vote for/against the legislator, your opinion is more important.)

(At some point the staff will probably ask you for your zip code. This helps them verify that you do live in their district.)

3. I would like Representative/Senator _________________ to support more charter schools, school vouchers, tuition tax credits, and any other bills that increase school choice. (This is a general request.)

4. I would like Rep/Senator _________________ to vote in favor of House Bill 465 (or Senate Bill 308 if he is a Senator.) (This is a specific request.)

(Currently law doesn’t allow more than 215 charter-school “charters” in Texas. That cap has been reached and there are 17,000 kids on waiting lists to enroll in charter schools in Texas. House Bill 465 removes the cap of 215, so there can be as many charter schools as the families need. Senate Bill 308 is identical to HB 465. It just has a different number because it was filed in the Senate.)

5. Is Rep/Senator __________________________

__ in favor of HB 465/SB 308? (This puts the legislator on the spot to commit.)(The staff will probably say that their boss has not had time to study the bill and make a decision. You can ask that you be called when he does make a decision. We will tell you if and when HB 465/SB 308 will come to a vote, so that you can call again to ask for a decision from your legislator.)

6. You can also include a personal story of how school choice has affected you or a neighbor, but keep it brief and to the point.

7. Thank you, __________________ for your time.

Please send a message to me after you finish so that I can know who has completed this lesson.
Bob Schoolfield
bob@ceoaustin.org

P.S. – You can call again in one or two weeks and your opinion will be counted twice. They receive many calls and have different staff. The next person to answer the phone will have forgotten that you called earlier.

Vouchers Help, not Hurt, Public Schools

March 2, 2009

Please read this excellent post by the Friedman Foundation that explains why vouchers help public schools, rather than hurt them.

DC Kids ask Obama to Save School Choice

March 2, 2009

Darwin Not Responsible for Evolution Fight, Blame the Schools

March 1, 2009

The CATO Institute has an excellent article entitled OPINION: Darwin Not Responsible for Evolution Fight, Blame the Schools.

The article points out that when you have a monolithic monopoly public school system, everyone is fighting to get his philosophy taught.  The fight is so passionate because it goes beyond a philosophical fight and becomes a political fight.  The political power gained by having the public education/indoctrination system promoting your philosophy/agenda is tremendous.  The loss of that political power is terrifying to any political group.

In CATO’s words, “Moreover, because of the constantly looming threat of political domination, both creationists and evolutionists fear the slippery slope. They worry that if they allow any doubts to be aired about their beliefs, the total removal of those beliefs from the schools could follow.  Perhaps the most ironic outcome of all this warfare is that it often leaves all sides unhappy.”  Each side is paranoid about the other side’s political counter-attack.  And the battleground is our children’s classrooms.

CATO continues, “What we need to end disputes over human origins—and, for that matter, over sex education, phonics, multicultural history, and sundry other curricular tinderboxes—is to embrace liberty. We need school choice.” (my emphasis)

The article points out one advantage of providing school choice through tax credits, rather than vouchers.  One of the common complaints about vouchers is, “I don’t want my tax money used to teach ‘fill in the blank’.”  Tax credits remove this complaint because tax credit money never becomes tax money.  It is redirected before it makes its way into any government bank account.

Kudos to CATO for an excellent article!

I’m so proud of Dallas ISD!

February 28, 2009

In an Associated Press report, “Dallas [ISD] showed the biggest improvement among the large Texas cities, and was 2nd overall nationally.”

How did they accomplish such an amazing achievement!

“In 2000, Dallas was outscored by 100 percent of the state’s school districts. By 2007, just 90 percent of suburban and rural districts did better than Dallas — a significant improvement given its demographics, the study’s author said.”

Yeah, and I am also proud of my children when they come home with a score of 10 out of 100, because they made 0 out of 100 last year!

We’ve almost made it to straight A’s!

We have lost one of the greatest school choice leaders – J. Patrick Rooney

September 20, 2008

We have lost a great warrior in the school choice movement.  J. Patrick Rooney stands with Milton Friedman.  He created the first private voucher foundation, which became the precursor to the tax-credit scholarship granting organization, which gives school choice to thousands of kids in Arizona and Florida (and other states.)

He also invented the Health Savings Account, which it one of the strongest tools (yet to be fully implemented) in the effort to fix our broken medical industry.

The Wall Street Journal has a eulogy to him.  I was privileged to have Pat as a personal friend.  He will remain an encouragement to me in the struggle for school choice for all kids.

The Voucher Sermon by Dr. Howard Fuller

September 11, 2008

Dr. Fuller is the chairman of Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), a national school choice advocacy group.

Milton Friedman on Education (Part 1)

September 8, 2008

Milton Friedman on Education (Part 2)

September 8, 2008