Thursday, February 17, 2011

SB 1 Hearing Video and Testimony/ ELC Position on SB 1/ Inky: SB1 Hearing/ PN: SB1 Hearing/ St.Rep. Kampf Prevailing Wage Exemption Bill

Senate Education Committee Public Hearing on Senate Bill 1

Here is a link to the video (9 hours) and written testimony submitted for the Senate Education Committee hearing on SB 1 yesterday:


Education Law Center Position Statement on Senate Bill 1

Baruch Kintisch,  Sandy Zelno

This is the ELC’s position paper on SB 1 which was submitted as testimony yesterday


Posted on Thu, Feb. 17, 2011

Heated debate in Pa. Senate hearing on school vouchers

By Adrienne Lu


HARRISBURG - During a day-long hearing before a state Senate committee Wednesday, school-voucher advocates argued that the issue boiled down to a matter of choice.

Low-income families, voucher proponents argued, should have the same kind of choice that wealthier families have always had - to opt out of local public schools in favor of private or parochial schools.

Opponents countered, with equal passion, that by taking money and students out of public schools, vouchers would hurt the schools that needed the most help.


Gov. Tom Corbett's administration supports school vouchers

Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 5:17 PM
State Education Secretary-nominee Ronald Tomalis, the first speaker at a Senate Education Committee hearing that drew a standing-room-only crowd, said targeting school vouchers at low-income youngsters in the worst-performing public schools would intensify competition within the state's educational system to produce "exponential benefits" for all students.
"With competition comes diversity, and with diversity adoption of programs to meet the individual needs of the student," he said.
Tomalis did not endorse a bill sponsored by Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, the committee's chairman, that within three years would allow any low-income public-school student to use the per-pupil subsidy the state government sends to his or her school district to attend a different private, public or religious school. Tomalis said the bill "starts the conversation" about how to expand choices for students.

At the Senate Education Committee hearing yesterday committee members repeatedly mentioned coming legislation that would address mandate relief and charter school reform.  Here’s a related posting on mandate relief:

State Rep. Warren Kampf’s news release 2/16/2011
Kampf Introduces Bill to Exempt School Districts From Prevailing Wage
Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Chester/Montgomery) today introduced a bill to reduce costs for school districts across Pennsylvania by exempting them from the state’s prevailing wage requirements for public works contracts, unless they choose to opt in to those requirements. 

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