PA Senate Says Yes to School Choice

Oct 26, 2011, 20:46 ET from Center for Education Reform

Bill expands educational opportunities, improves public schools

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One of the nation's most populated and important political states today moved closer to adopting a full school choice program for its neediest children when its state Senate just passed SB 1, which moves to the House, as early as this week.

"Kudos to the state's courageous leadership, who put education for children first in their actions today, despite enormous pressure by unions and the status quo," said Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform. "This bill is the lifeline children need to ensure a true path to success – in learning and life."

Championed by Sen. Jeffrey Piccola (R) and Sen. Anthony Williams (D), the enacted bill with passage in the House would:

  • Give families with children in the lowest performing school districts the opportunity to choose a better school for their child, with the money allocated for their education following them to the school their parents best feel meets their needs.  

  • Provide additional tax incentives for businesses to contribute their profits to scholarship organizations (the Educational Improvement Tax Credit), which provide middle and low income parents with support to pay for alternative educational opportunities.  

  • Make additional improvements to the state's charter school law paving the way for further action in the House that would enable new, publicly accountable authorizers to manage, open and monitor charter schools. Such laws in other states are responsible for the highest number of high quality charter schools.

"Today in the US, a growing number of policymakers are seeing increased student achievement in states that have adopted similar, bold initiatives," said Allen. "Pennsylvania is on the cusp of meaningful education improvement with this exciting development."  

CER, since 1993, is the leading voice and advocate for lasting, substantive and structural education reform in the U.S. Additional information about the Center and its activities can be found at

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SOURCE Center for Education Reform