Expanding School Choice in Pennsylvania

Rachel Sheffield /

In the latest efforts to promote school choice for the nation’s children, Pennsylvania state Senators Anthony Williams (D–Philadelphia) and Jeffrey Piccola (R–Dauphin and York) have introduced a plan to provide opportunity scholarships for low-income Pennsylvania students to attend a school of their choice.

Said Senator Piccola:

We know we have a group of schools that have been persistently failing, unsafe and falling short in meeting the needs of our kids and families who cannot afford to move to a better school district. … Our plan targets these schools and those students who are trapped.

According to the American Federation for Children, the bill would provide children from low-income families with a $9,000 scholarship, allowing them to leave the underperforming public schools many of them attend. It would also expand Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, which provides tax credits to businesses that donate to nonprofit scholarship organizations or other education organizations. (more…)