Ben Simmoneau reports

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett found himself peppered with questions today about the pace of the Jerry Sandusky investigation, as the governor visited Philadelphia to push his school vouchers plan.

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“Do you want to continue to argue, or do you want to ask a question?” the governor snapped at one point as reporters demanded to know why Corbett, who as attorney general investigated former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, didn’t act sooner to bring charges and make sure no more children were victimized (see related stories).

“You all are jumping all over the board as to when who knew what,” the governor said.  “You don’t know. In fact, you have to be very careful reaching assumptions that I think some of you might be reaching. The investigation moved as quickly as it possibly could.”

Meanwhile, the governor defended his decision earlier this summer to approve a $3-million state grant for The Second Mile, the charity founded by Sandusky (see related story).  Corbett says he believed he could not have withheld the grant, which had been approved by the legislature, without compromising the investigation.

He said he put the grant on hold as soon as charges were announced.

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On the topic of education, the governor abandoned his prepared remarks and spoke off the cuff about school reform to hundreds of students and teachers at the First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School.

“We need to give options,” he said.  “We need to give choices to your parents and to the parents of kids like you all across Pennsylvania, to have an opportunity to grow, have an opportunity to compete, have an opportunity to pick a different school where they can do better.”

Corbett’s reform plan includes vouchers for low-income students attending the worst performing schools, an expansion of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, and a more comprehensive teacher evaluation system.

The bill has already been approved by the state senate. The governor is hoping the state House will  do the same in short order.

Reported by Tony Romeo and Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060

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