Alloway (R), Argall (R), Browne (R), Brubaker (R), Corman (R), Dinniman (D), Earll (R), Eichelberger (R), Erickson (R), Folmer (R), McIlhinney (R), Mensch (R), Orie (R), Piccola (R), Pileggi (R), Rafferty (R), Robbins (R), Scarnati (R),Smucker (R), Tomlinson (R), Ward (R), Washington (D), Waugh (R), White, D (R), White, M (R), Williams (D), Yaw (R)
Voting in opposition to SB 1:
Baker (R), Blake (D), Boscola (D), Brewster (D), Costa (D), Farnese (D), Ferlo (D), Fontana (D), Gordner (R), Greenleaf (R), Hughes (D), Kasunic (D), Kitchen (D), Leach (D), Schwank (D), Solobay (D), Stack (D), Tartaglione (D), Vance (R), Vogel (R), Wozniak (D), Yudichak (D)
Not voting: Pippy (R)
A handful of amendments were offered on the Senate floor, but none were adopted. Sen. Jeff Piccola, who is the original sponsor of SB 1 and the champion for voucher proponents, lead the arguments against all of the amendments. Here is a summary of SB 1 released by the Senate Education Committee earlier this week.
The bill was fast tracked, as the Senate Education Committee announced last Friday (Oct. 21) that it would consider a comprehensive amendment to SB 1 early the following week. Yesterday the bill was reported out of the Senate Education Committee and quickly moved to the Senate floor.
A new fiscal note attached to SB 1 prepared by Senate Republicans estimates that the cost of the “scaled down” voucher plan at $42.6 million in 2012-13 for the first year, and a jump to $81.4 million in 2013-14. The Senate Democrats estimate the cost of vouchers under SB 1 at $73 million in 2012-13 and $133 million in 2013-14.
Sen. Vincent Hughes offered an amendment to authorize the creation of “Hope Academies” to assist struggling schools. Defeated 20-29. Hughes offered another similar amendment replacing the voucher program with Hope Academies and using EITC dollars. Defeated 17-32; later reconsidered and again defeated 16-33.
Most of the discussion focused on vouchers, with speakers on both sides of the issue speaking fervently during the four hour debate. Sen. Piccola also used time on the floor to praise charter schools and to pass the entire bill to “set students free.” Sen. Andrew Dinniman spoke more than once about the value of parochial schools as superior to public schools and said that the courts will decide the issue of religion in the schools and constitutionality. He also insisted that vouchers under SB 1 are not a statewide change, but instead is a “limited, pilot project affecting just a few school districts.” Sen. Lloyd Smucker spoke in favor of competition in education and said it is good policy to give kids “a fresh reason” to want to go to school.
If your senator voted “No” on SB 1, please be sure to thank him/her. If your senator voted “Yes” on SB 1, politely let him/her know that you are aware of the vote and are not appreciative.