December 2017 Church & State - December 2016

Private School Subsidy Fails In Pa. Legislature

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A bill designed to funnel public money from public schools into a private school voucher-like program failed to make it out of a Pennsylvania Senate committee.

The bill would have allowed parents of students who attend public schools deemed “underperforming” to use taxpayer funds to send their children to private schools through Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). With a 6-6 tie, the bill failed in the Senate Education Committee, reported the Allentown Morning Call.

The bill’s failure was lauded by public school advocates.

“Vouchers don’t help students learn, they drain money from public schools, and they don’t hold private schools accountable for how they would spend the money or help their students learn,” Dolores McCracken, the president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), said in a press release.

Critics argue that ESAs are designed to drain taxpayer money from public schools. PSEA calculated that the school districts impacted by the bill would have lost nearly $50 million annually.

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