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WASHINGTON, DC- FreedomWorks cheered the passage of SB1, The Opportunity Scholarship and Educational Improvement Tax Credit Act, which was passed today in the PA Senate Education Committee by a vote of 8-2. 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.
“This is a great first step in the eventual passage of comprehensive education reform for Pennsylvania children,” commented Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks. “While FreedomWorks is pleased with the Pennsylvania Education Committee’s overwhelming support of SB1, the fight for school choice is far from over.”
The state of Pennsylvania, like many other states across the nation, is plagued with overcrowded and under-performing schools. The SB1 legislation would provide parents with vouchers for their children to attend the public, private, or parochial school of their choice. Contrary to the talking points of the teacher’s unions, SB1 would actually help to balance the state budget and cost taxpayers a fraction of the money spent per student annually.
“Pennsylvania school spending per pupil has skyrocketed with no signs of improvement,” Kibbe added. “Just as competition and choice best serve the interests of consumers in commercial markets, these principles also benefit children in the educational market.”
The next step in the battle for school choice will take place in the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee. As the debate picks up steam, FreedomWorks will continue to mobilize members, along with conservative, limited-government activists in Pennsylvania on FreedomConnector- a revolutionary, new online mobilization tool designed to quickly apply concerted pressure on elected officials- to call and email targeted Pennsylvania State Senators in support of SB1.
In addition, FreedomWorks will be organizing numerous events on the ground throughout Pennsylvania in the weeks ahead to advocate the passage of SB1.