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HARRISBURG, PA- On the eve of a state senate vote determining the bill’s fate, a diverse community of over 2,000 parents, students, teachers, FreedomWorks volunteer activists and allies flooded the steps of the State Capitol building in support of SB1, The Opportunity Scholarship and Educational Improvement Tax Credit Act. The SB1 legislation would provide parents with vouchers for their children to attend the public, private, or parochial school of their choice.
Several hundred schoolchildren filled the front steps of the Capitol and made office visits, urging senators to protect their educational future. Pennsylvania currently has one of the worst SAT score averages in the nation. On the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, only about half of 11th graders are proficient in math and reading.
SB1 was introduced with bipartisan support to address Pennsylvania’s statewide epidemic of violent and under-performing schools. The legislation would give a lifeline to students trapped in dangerous schools that make education a daily nightmare, rather than an opportunity to learn. It acknowledges that parents know what best meets the individual needs of their children- not State House lawmakers.
FreedomWorks has been engaged in the PA school choice battle since day one, hosting town hall meetings, activist training seminars, launching a statewide radio campaign, and organizing phone call and letter-writing campaigns amongst our Pennsylvania network of over 30,600 members.
To date, almost 7,000 letters to key Republican state legislators have been written by concerned Pennsylvania residents. Petitions with over 6,500 signatures have been delivered to nine key Republican Senate targets. FreedomWorks reached out to over 100,000 Pennsylvanians, urging them to contact their state legislators to tell them, “My school, My choice.”
“It’s time for Pennsylvania legislators to see faces of the parents and children directly affected by the failing public school system,” commented Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks. “Tomorrow, the state senate has a clear choice: it sides with the taxpayers and children of PA, or it sides with the teachers union. There is no grey area.”
For more information about FreedomWorks’ efforts in the battle for school choice in Pennsylvania, please visit: http://schoolchoicepa.com/.