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Dear FreedomWorks member,
As one of our Pennsylvania FreedomWorks members, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote YES on SB1, the “Opportunity Scholarships and Educational Improvement Tax Credit Act”. Introduced by Sen. Piccola (R-Dauphin) and Sen. Williams (D-Philadelphia), this bill would allow children the opportunity to attend a better school. SB1 will finally put parents and students in charge of Pennsylvania's education system by expanding the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program and instituting opportunity scholarships for students trapped in failing schools.
Many Pennsylvania schools have failed to live up to expectations. This bill would grant low-income children in low-achieving schools a scholarship to attend a better public or private school of their choice. It would grant opportunity scholarships to students with family incomes of up to 185 percent—approximately $41,000— of the federal poverty limit. SB1 would also increase funding for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit to $100 million for fiscal years 2012 through 2014 and $125 million for fiscal year 2014-2015. The funding level will increase by 5 percent each fiscal year thereafter as long as 90 percent of the credits are approved.
School choice is a win-win for all. Pennsylvania children and parents should be empowered to escape their zip code in order to choose the school that best suits their individual needs. By increasing choice and competition, similar programs have been shown to increase student test scores across the nation. Just as competition has improved every day products, it can produce better performing schools. Multiple studies have confirmed that school choice programs boost parental satisfaction in their child’s education. If SB1 is enacted, many Pennsylvania parents will express gratitude that they could choose a better and safer learning environment for their children.
I urge you to contact your representatives and ask them to vote YES on SB1, the “Opportunity Scholarships and Educational Improvement Tax Credit Act”. The educational quality of Pennsylvania students is vital in order for them to compete on a national and global scale. Please stand up for the children of Pennsylvania by allowing them to choose the school that best meets their individual needs.
President and CEO
[Click here for a PDF version of this letter.]