Senator Berta Gardner

February 14, 2013

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Serving Midtown, Spenard, and UMed

State Capitol Bldg. Rm 417
Juneau, AK 99801
Call Me: 1-800-331-4930

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School Vouchers & Oil Tax Myths

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Sen. Gardner speaking at the rollout of the Democrats’ alternative oil tax plan. Production before reduction!
Sen. Gardner speaking at the rollout of the Democrats’ alternative oil tax plan. Production before reduction!

Yesterday we began the discussion on school vouchers. School vouchers, aka “school choice,” use state dollars to pay for kids to attend private and religious schools. Across the nation, the concept has brought both controversy and great passion.

Studies on the effectiveness of vouchers reach mixed conclusions. The independent ones, however, suggest that while popular with families, vouchers provide minimal change in educational outcome, and that consistent participation is highest among those who were attending private schools before access to vouchers. Opponents worry about the drain of resources from public schools, arguing that we should fix public school, and increase choice within the accountable public framework.

Our constitution specifically prohibits using state money for private education. To use vouchers we would have to have a constitutional amendment, requiring 2/3rd approval of both House and Senate plus a simple majority of statewide voters. This is a long process and the discussion and testimony has just begun. It is important to note, however, that thus far we have heard professional testimony only from voucher proponents.

Sen. Wielechowski holds a One-Man
Debate on Oil Taxes and Oil Tax Myths

On Saturday, February 16, at Begich Middle School from 11am to 1pm, Sen. Bill Wielechowski will be answering questions and debunking myths the on oil taxes. This is a public event, so please bring your friends and family and have any questions you want answered.

I’m Berta and I’m still listening,

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office

signed: Berta

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