Voucher bill passes Pa. Senate; Hughes, Williams and Stack react

    The Pennsylvania Senate passes legislation approving school vouchers, reserving 2012/13 for vouchers for students in low-performing schools and then expanding the program to students already in private and parochial schools.

    As the Notebook reports, legislators were divided over whether vouchers provide better access for students or take money from public schools. Below, see reactions from Sen. Vincent Hughes, Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and Sen. Mike Stack.

    Hughes: “The voucher plan will make the financial problems of the Philadelphia School District and other struggling districts across the state that much worse . . . Not only is the plan costly to taxpayers and public schools, it does not put into practice proven reforms that have a track record of success in education.”

    Williams: “This is a victory for children and families across Pennsylvania. Families should not suffer because their local school is not providing their child with a quality education . . . This is about the students and nobody else.”

    Stack: “It’s difficult for me to support a new education funding program like school vouchers when public schools just received a $900 million state budget funding cut which includes $224 million in funding cuts for charter schools . . . If the EITC funding and charter schools were considered separately, I would support them.”

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