Monthly Archives: February 2007

HB 148 and means-tested vouchers #

Those who know me well know that I’m not opposed to an equitable, well-crafted voucher bill. In all of the discussions of HB 148, including its incarnations in past years, the one piece of information I’ve always wanted but never come across is an income chart showing how household income translates to voucher amounts.

The following table shows how household size correlates to voucher amount. It is based on the federal reduced lunch standard as it currently stands, which is what the bill directs under its proposed language for 53A-1a-803. (Line 78 in the House amended version.) These numbers show what the voucher amount would have been for the 2006-07 school year; being tied to the reduced lunch standard, it will change each year.

Comparison of household size/income to proposed voucher amount
% of base 3-person 5-person 7-person
$3000 <= 100% $ 30,710 $ 43,290 55,870
$2750 <= 125% $ 38,388 $ 54,113 $ 69,838
$2500 <= 150% $ 46,065 $ 64,935 $ 83,805
$2250 <= 175% $ 53,743 $ 75,758 $ 97,773
$2000 <= 200% $ 61,420 $ 86,580 $ 111,740
$1750 <= 225% $ 69,098 $ 97,403 $ 125,708
$1000 <= 250% $ 76,775 $ 108,225 $ 139,675
$500 >250%  

Hmm. A single mother gets a full voucher amount at what is barely a livable salary. A family of seven gets the full voucher amount at a salary above the state median. I don’t see how this matches up with the desire for a means-tested voucher that helps those who need it most.

I’ve added this table to the Politicopia discussion.

I don’t mind the discussion of a voucher bill. My concerns are not the party-line talking points. I think most of the arguments on both sides are fallacious and disingenuous, with opposing sides choosing to misinterpret each other’s arguments. The recent PCE radio ads offend me. The “discussion” is mostly blind monologues shifting discussion away from the (de)merits of the particular bill. I’m under no pretension that my opinion will be considered in the slightest by the Legislature.
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