In the Senate yesterday, parental choice in education for special needs children was defeated by a vote of 18-18 with the Lieutenant Governor breaking the tie with a no vote. Although HB2238 was defeated in the Senate, the spirit of this legislation achieved a monumental victory. Only by the Grace of God was it able to survive seven committees and a hotly debated vote in the House. This in itself was nothing short of a miracle!
Rarely does a controversial issue such as education savings accounts make such advances in its first year in the legislature. As we have mentioned before, we were told eight months ago that it would take years to get to the Governor’s desk. We were just one vote shy in our first year. The relationship we developed with the Virginia NAACP (see note below) along with this close vote demonstrates that the education bureaucrats are beginning to lose their stranglehold over our education system in the U.S. This is just one effort in a long line of future successes that will eventually transform the education monopoly that has existed in our country for decades.
During the debate yesterday several Senators rose to provide impassioned speeches in support of choice in education. We ask that you would contact Sen. Garrett, Sen. Stuart, Sen. Martin and Sen. Black and thank them for their commitment to providing special needs children with the opportunity to succeed in life.
The first leg of this journey has been long, instructive and very rewarding. Our next leg begins today as we take time to debrief and begin to strategize for next year. We want to thank everyone who has accompanied us on this journey, and we look forward to our continued collaboration to advance parental rights in education.
Note: Yesterday, the VEA announced, “With help from Senator McEachin’s office and heavy lifting from Senator Locke, the NAACP changed their position to one of opposition”. Translation - they applied tremendous pressure on the State NAACP to reverse their endorsement. Public officials using their position of power to apply pressure on private organizations is part of the problem we have in politics today.