If you have not heard, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is considering a bill in Harrisburg which would, over a 3 year phase in period, provide vouchers for those families that are unable to afford to send their children to a private school.
OF COURSE, this would be a TREMENDOUS boost to The Lutheran Academy – and all other private schools. Certainly one of the biggest prohibiting factor that automatically keep folks from even considering The Lutheran Academy is the cost – especially here in Scranton (this is the case EVEN THOUGH we can tell folks that no one has ever been turned away simply because they cannot pay.) Private schools in more affluent communities are able to survive just because they can charge $5,000 (or more) and still retain a student body. Here in Scranton it is extremely difficult to ask very much for tuition. The working class poor that we have often just struggle to make basic ends meet. A bill like this, if passed, would certainly give a Christian family the LIBERTY to consider options for their children’s education.
I guess I really like this bill because it is limited to helping those who are unable to afford a private school tuition. Yes, the public schools (which we all DO need to support in every way we can) would take a hit, but it would be a more limited one because not ALL kids would receive a voucher – ONLY those who can’t afford it. I am not actually aware of the voucher’s amount. I see one suggestion that it is $9000, which is what it costs our Public schools to educate a child for a year. But I would be happy to see that actually lowered to say “whatever the tuition is for the school – up to $9000” – or something like that.
Here at the Academy we spend $3500-$4000 per student/year, and our tuition is half of that. Of course it operates on a lot of goodwill and cooperation – as well as just practicing that good old fashioned virtue of thriftiness. Because we are small and focused we are able to manage ourselves much more easily than a school with 500 kids! Our Teacher/Principal, Angela Scheller, makes a marginally fair salary. Of course she could be making quite a bit more in a public school, but as we know, money is not the key to a happy career! Thank God! But our administrative assistant Eileen Duffy this year is paid quite poorly, and of course Roger Borchin, our Directing Principal has always volunteered his time completely now for several years.
If a voucher program is passed, The Academy could at raise our tuition and not have to worry that we were pricing ourselves out of the consideration of 99% of the population. We could actually pay our staff better, invest in our equipment and curriculum, and just feel a whole lot better about our financial viability.
MORE importantly, Christian parents would have the option of a beautiful place for their children to learn and grow and be nurtured in the Christian faith as they learn how to serve man and God.
SO THIS IS THE DEAL:
If you would like to see this bill passed, please let it be known to your senator and representative:
Here in Scranton you can send a letter to Rep. Murphy by clicking here: http://www.pahouse.com/Murphy/contact.asp
Here is a sample letter:
Dear [recipient name was inserted here],
I am writing to ask you to pass Bill 1 in its current form and any other
legislation that would implement school voucher programs in Pennsylvania.
As much as I DO support our public schools, it is imperative that we
support families who are, for whatever reason, in need of another option
for their children’s education and unable to afford it.
Please pass Senate Bill 1.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP IN THIS MATTER!