Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Voucher “Expose”/ SB 612 Furlough bill meeting postponed

FreedomWorks, a Washington DC based group, has scheduled a news conference on the Capitol steps tomorrow to "expose" several Republican lawmakers whom it contends are "in the pockets" of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, which represents about 191,000 teachers and other public school employees.

Freedomworks continues to trumpet the same old refrain that the Governor and voucher advocates keep repeating: "SB1 is a bill to rescue poor students trapped in failing school districts" (see Inquirer article below).

In it's latest version, SB1 is actually a bill that would simply hand over public tax dollars for middle class students already attending nice private and parochial schools for families making up to $78K.

Even if they have never attended public school.

Even if they live in the highest achieving and wealthiest school districts in the state.

The Senate's own estimate projects that less than 8% of vouchers would go to students from the "144 persistently failing" schools, and that over 65% of vouchers will go to students already enrolled in private and parochial schools.  So much for rescuing the poor kids……

Tuition-voucher fight has fire lit under it
Philadelphia Inquirer by Amy Worden, June 07, 2011
When representatives of the national groups that support school tuition vouchers launched their campaign in Harrisburg earlier this year, they tried to appeal to Pennsylvania legislators' sense of moral outrage.
Why should low-income children be "trapped in failing schools?" Shouldn't they have the right to choose what school to attend, and get help with that school's tuition in the form of a state-funded voucher?

House Education Committee Cancels Meeting on Furlough Bill, SB 612
Yesterday, the House Education Committee cancelled it scheduled meeting to consider SB 612, legislation regarding the furlough of teachers for economic reasons. The meeting will be rescheduled for a later date.

State legislators move to outlaw teacher strikes
Measure includes hefty penalties if unions picket
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
By Tracie Mauriello and Kaitlynn Riely, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Reps. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, and Todd Rock, R-Franklin, have introduced a package of bills that would outlaw teacher strikes and hold contract negotiators publicly accountable for their proposed labor agreements.

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