FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Sturla
Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee
State Rep. Pat Harkins
Democratic Policy Committee considers issues with school vouchers
ERIE, March 15 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today held a public hearing at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center to examine how school vouchers would affect education in Pennsylvania, according to committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.
The hearing was co-led by state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, who serves on the House Education Committee.
"With the striking cuts to education in Governor Corbett's budget proposal this year, the legislature has to decide if now is really the time to embrace an unproven and costly venture like school vouchers," Sturla said. "Our public schools have shown remarkable progress in the past eight years that I think we can continue to build on given the right investment from the state."
"After eight years of increasing progress in our schools, Governor Corbett has chosen to cut funding to kids and hardworking teachers," Harkins said. "With these severe cuts, any progress that has been made is in danger of being reversed and our children’s future is put in jeopardy. Now is not the time to undertake a school voucher program that is both untested and expensive."
Those testifying at the hearing included Jay Badams, superintendent, Erie City School District; Dr. Scott Graham, superintendent, Northern Potter School District; Otto Banks, executive director, REACH Alliance and Foundation; Dick Komer, senior attorney, Institute of Justice; Dawn Chavous, executive director, Students First; Anthony Pirrello, CEO, Montessori Regional Charter School; Andre Horton, president of the Erie branch, NAACP; Sara Rose, staff attorney, ACLU of PA; Al Richardson, secretary, Northwest PA Chapter, Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Karen Brumagin, administrator, Girard Alliance Christian Academy; and Diane Price, principal, Leadership Christian Academy.
For more information about the Policy Committee and hearing materials, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.