By Nate Hennagin
Today, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) will try again to pass an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (H.R. 1540) that would create a $10 million private school voucher program for military dependent children with special education needs. This time he is offering the bill on the House floor. Hunter introduced a nearly identical amendment during the markup of the bill just two weeks ago, which was voted down 26-34.
This program, like other voucher programs, would not improve the education of students. Instead, it would reduce funding for Federal Impact Aid and cause students with disabilities to forfeit critical protections under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). And, the amendment would create a $10 million program at a time when Congress is considering significant cuts to the budget for the Department of Defense. Because of these reasons, the program is opposed not only by AU, but also by the National Coalition for Public Education (NCPE), the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), and the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools.
Despite all of this evidence against the program, and the fact that 9 of his Republican colleagues joined 24 Democrats to reject a nearly identical amendment in committee, the Republican from San Diego County is still trying to push this program through, this time on the House floor.
Visit our Action Page to take action NOW and urge your Representative to oppose this amendment!
You can also read about the bill Rep. Hunter offered in the House Natural Resources Committee today.