PSEA President: Tuition voucher vote is disappointing and dangerous

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PSEA President: Tuition voucher vote is disappointing and dangerous

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David Broderic (717) 255-7169
Wythe Keever (717) 255-7107

HARRISBURG (Oct. 24, 2017) – Dolores McCracken, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, issued the following statement today after the state Senate Education Committee voted to approve Senate Bill 2, a tuition voucher plan that could siphon more than $500 million in state funds from Pennsylvania’s public schools.

“It’s extremely disappointing that state senators think voting on tuition voucher schemes should be a priority for the General Assembly. This bill is just as bad as all of the other voucher ideas that have been floated over the past two decades and failed to pass – and it could cut more than $500 million from school districts that need state funding the most.

“For many of these school districts, the losses would end up being more than the 2011 state funding cuts that threw our public schools into crisis.

“The fact that lawmakers still haven’t finished the state budget process makes the timing of this voucher vote even more troubling. There is no doubt that voucher plans siphon money from public schools, and this one does the exact same thing, robbing public schools of money that they need to educate all students.

“There are good reasons why voucher bills haven’t passed for decades. 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.

“I hope more state senators realize this before this dangerous bill gets to the Senate floor for a vote.”

McCracken is a paraprofessional in the Council Rock School District. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents approximately 181,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.