OEA response to Stitt’s desire to fund vouchers over emergency needs

OEA President Alicia Priest made the following statement in response to Gov. Stitt’s comment to use emergency funds from the U.S. Department of Education to “backfill” the Equal Opportunity voucher program:

“I’ve heard from teachers and support staff in a dozen town hall meetings in the past week. Voucher programs have not been mentioned once. You know what has been mentioned? Broadband connectivity needs in rural areas and education technology. Mental health services. Protective equipment and cleaning supplies for schools. These are the needs our public schools and students have right now.

“The money we are receiving from the federal government is for the COVID-19 emergency. Giving money to the wealthy for a voucher program is certainly not an emergency.

“Our state is in a revenue failure. This isn’t the time for wasteful spending on pet projects. This isn’t the time for tax breaks for the rich. This is the time to support one another, especially our children.”

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