HB1403/SB7048 is still in the Senate. Its next stop is set as the Appropriations committee.
The meeting for the Appropriations committee has just been scheduled. February 15, at noon EST!
NEW UPDATE: The meeting for the Appropriations committee has been scheduled for February 15, at noon EST--but these bills do not show on the agenda. We are watching to see what happens. In the meantime, please contact your Senators as noted below!
In the meantime...
If you do not want to see restrictions added to the ability to purchase equipment for electives through PEP, then please reach out to YOUR legislators (particularly your Senators) and ask them to amend this bill!
You can find your Senator here:
Be sure to keep emails short and to the point (bullet points are best!), but include your PERSONAL story and why this matters for you and your children.
You can also add one or two logical arguments/concerns, if you want. If you want ideas, here are some of our primary talking points/concerns about the language in this bill:
It is a sweeping limitation which would prevent legitimate educational expenses. As worded, it would restrict equipment used as instructional materials for ALL electives, which would mean parents could no longer purchase equipment for art, music, PE, career & technical skills, or any other electives.
Equipment as instructional materials are not generally needed in reading, mathematics, or social studies. The language in the bill essentially has the effect of only allowing equipment to be purchased for science.
This scholarship already does not even allow parents to buy a computer, which is needed for online classes or courses which they are allowed to purchase. Now things will be limited even further, severely restricting parents' freedoms to use the funds to best meet their child's needs.
Many parents have taken this scholarship because they could not provide the electives for their child on one income. Without the equipment, a child can get the guitar lessons online, the parent can order a curriculum or hire a tutor, but the child has no way to learn without the instrument.
If you aren't sure what to say, here is a basic template you can start with:
Thank you so much for the PEP program. This has benefited my family [insert how].
By cutting the equipment down to four core subjects, this will take away my children's ability to [insert how this will impact your children].
I am also very concerned that [insert one or two BRIEF talking points].
Please amend this bill to remove the restriction on equipment used as instructional materials for PEP.
Thank you for your time.
Feel free to vary the wording and rearrange it so that it reads authentic to you. (It's actually best if not all the emails are worded exactly the same way so that it's clear they are sincere and genuine.)
Just be sure to:
(1) Keep it brief!
(2) PERSONALIZE your message to explain why this matters to your family. The personal stories matter. They need to see the stories of the REAL kids this is impacting.
If you have any questions, ask them below.