Alna never had a vote on school choice? Yes they did!
The two gentlemen who came before the committee earlier this morning to demand that school choice be put to a vote in Alna got a couple of things wrong…
Myth – Voters in Alna never got to vote on choice.
Fact – The plan that created the RSU of which Alna is a part specifically stipulates that families in that town are to retain choice. That plan was negotiated by school and municipal leaders from all of the towns in the RSU and was approved by voters there as well. They voted on school choice, alright, they voted to keep it.
Myth – That Alna has school choice creates added costs for the rest of the RSU.
Fact – Tuition to private schools is capped at the RSU rate, so whether a students goes to an RSU school or not, the rate is the same. There are no added costs other than what the RSU would spend on the student anyway.
Myth – The issue here is added costs for taxpayers in the RSU.
Fact – The issue here is that some folks who live in the RSU of which Alna is a part wish that Alna parents liked RSU schools more than they do. Rather than work to make their school better and win these students back, though, these folks want to solve the problem by simply creating a monopoly and taking choice away from parents in Alna.
For what it is worth, it does not appear that the Alna folks made much of an impression on the committee. Strong words in support of school choice from Sen. Schneider suggests that nothing very meaningful will be done by the committee with regard to school choice, which means, one can hope, that school choice, for a little while at least, is safe.