HARRISBURG, Pa., April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder extend their appreciation to the entire labor community and its allies for their role in delaying Senate consideration of Senate Bill 1-taxpayer funded vouchers for private schools.
This delay has afforded more time to expand our efforts in educating and convincing State Legislators and the public that taxpayer funded vouchers will not improve overall outcomes for students and will impose even heavier financial burdens on school districts and higher property taxes on working families.
"As decision time draws near, more members of the Senate are beginning to recognize the costs and burdens this legislation would have on communities, while not improving school performance," President Bloomingdale said.
"It will be the private schools choosing the students, not the parent or students choosing the school. Our public schools are open to everyone, whether they are exceptional students or students with special needs. No student is rejected or turned away. This same principle should apply to schools whether they are public or private as a condition of tax payer funded school vouchers. But there is no requirement in the legislation," Bloomingdale added. "It's time to stop undermining and underfunding public education and attacking public school teachers," he said.
"The only certainty in this legislation is higher property taxes to pay for school vouchers at a time when school districts are already overburdened due to the proposed budget cuts. Tax payer funded vouchers would hinder the progress that has been accomplished in many of our public schools. Reducing class sizes, expanding access to early childhood education, and pre-kindergarten programs have all helped improve student achievement. All of these successes are threatened by the continual efforts to reallocate education funding," Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder added.
The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO urges the defeat of this legislation and any other school voucher proposal that does not require the same standards and requirements that are applied to our public schools. Pennsylvania needs to invest in proven education programs which will directly improve every student's ability to succeed, not divert taxpayer funds to pay for school vouchers.
SOURCE Pennsylvania AFL-CIO