I have been a vocal supporter of vouchers previously, but I have been less than pleased with some of the tactics of those behind vouchers. My support was wavering because of my displeasure but then as I stared at the conclusion of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst’s Report that vouchers would be draining more than 40 million dollars per year once all students have become eligible for them I realized the magnitude of the flaws in our current voucher laws. In my opinion, that’s too much of a drain for an experiment. I also firmly believe that it’s much harder to change a law once it is implemented than it is to just let 40 million dollars get siphoned off from our state budget each year.
Between that financial drain and the gutter-politics associated with voucher support I can not support Referendum 1 in good conscience. I still support the idea of vouchers, and would be supportive of future efforts to implement a better implementation later. Good suggestions include using tax credits or requiring that students attend a minimum amount of time in public school before accepting vouchers. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I have one answer – I have to vote “no” on Referendum 1 in November.