Tuesday, October 11, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Pennsylvania Governor Unveils Sweeping School Choice Package

There have been whispers he was going to make a big announcement for days now, but today we finally saw what Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett had in store for his big education package, and we're pretty excited.

The four-part plan calls for the following:
  1. The creation of a means-tested voucher program aimed at students in the state's worst-performing districts
  2. A significant expansion of the existing Educational Income Tax Credit program
  3. A commission charged with oversight of charter schools and enforcing strict accountability measures, as well as financial advisory duties
  4. A plan to include student achievement in evaluating teachers across the state
Needless to say, we're pretty excited about those first two measures. Here are the details from our release:
Corbett’s plan—which he said he hopes to see passed into law this fall—would create an Opportunity Scholarship Program that would grant scholarships to low-income students living in the state’s lowest performing 5 percent of schools. Families with incomes up to 130 percent of the federal poverty level would be eligible for a full voucher, while families making up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level would be eligible for 75 percent of the full scholarship amount. 
The multi-faceted package also calls for a significant expansion of the EITC program, which currently serves about 40,000 low-income students statewide. The decade-old program—the nation’s largest private school choice program by student enrollment—is currently the only private school choice option for Pennsylvania families.
We followed along with the announcement live, so take a look at our Twitter page to see our thoughts as they happened in real time.. You can also read the full release here, and be sure to stay glued to our blog and our website, www.federationforchildren.org, for all the latest news and updates as it breaks.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MAG

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