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Corbett Seeks Scaled-Back Toehold For State School Voucher Program

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(Gov. Tom Corbett makes announces his proposed school voucher program at a charter school in York, Pa.   Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Gov. Tom Corbett makes announces his proposed school voucher program at a charter school in York, Pa. Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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YORK, Pa. (CBS) - Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett is proposing a more modest tuition voucher program as part of a school reform proposal he unveiled this morning at a charter school in York, Pa.

Corbett says his tuition voucher program would target only the bottom five percent of failing schools.  Students in those schools whose families are at 130 percent of the federal poverty level would qualify — that’s a family of four earning $29,000 a year or less.

Students in those failing schools whose families are at 185 percent of the poverty line would qualify for a partial voucher.

That proposal will cover fewer students than proposals considered by the state legislature last spring, but Corbett says he believes that’s what can get passed now.

“I believe you have to crawl before you walk, walk before you run. And so this is what I think is one that I think should be able to get through,” he told reporters.

The governor also proposes to expand tax credits to businesses that provide funding for education, to develop a new method of evaluating teachers, and to create a statewide authority to approve and oversee charter schools.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo

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