Monday, October 22, 2007

Voucher "savings" not true

Well, hmmm. For months now voucher supporters have been claiming that giving voucher schools tax dollars would actually save Utah money.

No one could credibly arrive at the astronomical savings legislative leaders touted, and Sen. Bramble would not allow the worksheets of the fiscal analyst to be released.

Well, no wonder!

Under pressure, Bramble finally released the background information, as Paul Rolly reported in the Salt Lake City Tribune this weekend:

"Utah legislators pimping their personal agendas appear to be getting more adept at using (abusing) their professional staffs to produce data that supposedly justify their political initiatives. Take the recent trek into Fantasyland by Senate Majority Leader Curtis Bramble, who waved numbers from the Legislative Fiscal Analyst's Office to back his claim that the private school voucher bill would save Utah $1.4 billion over 13 years.

"Alas, the only problem is that it's not true.

"Nevertheless, this "fact" has been oft-repeated by Bramble and other pro-voucher legislators, and it was included in a promotional film produced by the Informed Voter Project, a committee formed - and misnamed - by those same lawmakers.

"Critics contend the committee's claim of dizzying voucher savings is a gross misrepresentation, a result of Bramble's manipulation of the Legislature's professional staff. Not surprisingly, Bramble was reluctant to share the research supporting the conclusion. That is, until he learned that the anti-voucher side had released other research from the same Legislative Fiscal Analyst's Office showing that vouchers would actually cost the state millions of dollars.

"Once Bramble caved and released his data, the picture cleared. It showed that he had asked the analysts for a calculation based on what all students eligible for vouchers would cost the state if every one of them were in the public system. That includes all the students already in private schools and those potentially moving into the state.

"In other words, it was a house of cards. But structural deficiency is not part of the message being trumpeted by lawmakers trying to persuade voters to approve vouchers in next month's ballot referendum on the law they passed last winter."

You can read the full story here.

What a sad day when voucher supporters resort to lies.

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