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Hearing On Controversial School Voucher Proposal Held

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Pennsylvania House Democratic committee traveled to Philadelphia Tuesday for the first in a series of hearings on a controversial school voucher proposal.

The House Democratic Policy Committee heard from supporters and opponents of Senate Bill 1, which would provide a subsidy for the best and the brightest low-income students in failing public schools to transfer to private or parochial schools. 

While the committee indicated a willingness to listen to all sides, many members made it clear that they are against the proposal. Committee Chairman Mike Sturla calls it a scheme to dismember public schools.

“It’s got a huge price tag on it, third year it’s estimated to be a billion dollars. Even there, not every child that would qualify for a voucher would be able to get into a private or parochial school,” Sturla said. “So, this notion that everybody gets to flee their public school that’s failing doesn’t make sense.”

There’s a long way to go before the fate of this bill is decided but Representative James Roebuck of Philadelphia says one thing is certain.

“If voucher legislation is ultimately approved, it will be very different than what we’re looking at right now,” Roebuck said.

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio

  • old409

    Sturla like most other Democrats is interested in the money and support they get from the teacher’s unions. Pennsylvania like most other states has been dumping money down the rathole we call public education for years and there has been little if any improvement. The only real improvement has been in teacher salaries and benefits.

  • Erv

    School choice is the oly thing that will save public education. Pa. is 10th on the lsit for combined state and local taxes. I wonder if Mr. Stula is concermned about
    the rising debt,.which these local districts have incurred. Teacher salaries have risen over the last 20 years AT TWICE WHAT THE PRIVATE SECTOR salaries have risen…and local school debt has gone up 133% in the same time period. What else but school, choice will force these clown on the local school boards to act responsibly and with some accountability to the taxpayer? If a parent had 2 children – one accountable and one totally irresponsible, how long could the parent keep funding the irresponsible child.

    A solid dose of finacial truth might help the issue, but Mr. Sturla is bought and paid for by the teacher unions.

  • rick

    I’m shocked……a DEMOCRAT not allowing POOR KIDS to go to private schools!!!!

    Mr. Strula wanst to sentence these poor kids to a life sentence in FAILING PUBLIC SCHOOLS!!!

    How much you wanna bet his kids go to private schools.

  • Guess Who

    Leave it to a Dem to defend failing schools and failing teachers.

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