PA School Choice Bill Clears Education Committee, Heads to Senate Vote

WASHINGTON, DC- FreedomWorks members, teachers, parents and volunteer activists across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania cheered as The Opportunity Scholarship and Educational Improvement Tax Credit Act (SB1) cleared the PA Senate Education Committee by a vote of 9-2 today. The PA Senate Education Committee is no stranger to the SB1 legislation, passing a draft version of the same bill last March by a vote of 8-2.

“This is a great next step on the long road towards comprehensive education reform for Pennsylvania children,” commented Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks. “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. These kids should not fall through the cracks of the current failing education system while state politicians drag their feet. The time is now to give families a choice.”

The SB1 legislation would provide parents with opportunity scholarships for their children to attend the public, private, or parochial school of their choice. Contrary to the talking points of the teachers unions, SB1 would actually help to balance the state budget and cost taxpayers a fraction of the money spent per student annually.

“Education is a marketplace, just like any other good or service offered in today’s society. As competition and choice best serve the interests of consumers in commercial industry, these principles also benefit children in the educational market,” added Kibbe.

FreedomWorks and its network of over 30,600 Pennsylvania activists, teachers, families, and free-market allies have stood on the front lines of the PA school choice battle since day one, hosting town hall meetings, activist training seminars, launching a statewide radio and earned media campaign, and organizing phone call, legislative office visits and letter-writing campaigns.  FreedomWorks reached out to over 100,000 Pennsylvanians, urging them to contact their state legislators to tell them, “My school, my choice.”

The next step in the battle for school choice will take place on Wednesday, October 26th with a full vote in the state Senate. If passed, it will head over to the House of Representatives for a final vote.  As the bill progresses through the General Assembly, FreedomWorks will continue to mobilize its members, along with limited-government activists in Pennsylvania on FreedomConnector- a revolutionary online mobilization tool designed to quickly apply concerted pressure on elected officials- to call and email targeted Pennsylvania state legislators in support of SB1.

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