FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Sturla
Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee
State Rep. Ken Smith
Democratic Policy Committee looks at school voucher proposal in Pa.
SCRANTON, March 31 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today held a public hearing at Marywood University to look at how the implementation of school vouchers would affect education in Pennsylvania, said Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.
State Rep. Ken Smith, a member of the House Education Committee, requested the hearing and served as its co-chairman.
"The implementation of school vouchers in Pennsylvania under the legislation being considered by the Senate would undercut the notion of public education across the Commonwealth," Sturla said. "Representative Smith, in his service on the House Education Committee, knows that although none of the 'failing schools' whose students would be eligible for vouchers in the first two years are in northeast Pennsylvania, they would have a negative effect on local students."
"I don’t want to see public schools penalized with the voucher bill or our children’s educational future jeopardized,” Smith added.
The committee heard testimony from Rosemary Boland, president, Scranton Federation of Teachers; Alan Hall, school director, Blue Ridge School District; Dr. Andrew Chichura, superintendent, Mountain View School District; Rev. Ted Clater, executive board member, REACH Foundation and Alliance; Kathleen Hanlon, secretary for Catholic Schools and superintendent of schools, Diocese of Scranton; Andy Hoover, legislative director, ACLU of PA; Ron Felton, president, Wilkes-Barre NAACP; Ron Byrd, president, Monroe County Branch NAACP; Dr. Jean Harris, member, League of Women Voters of Lackawanna County; Susan Gobreski, executive director, Education Voters of PA; Rabbi Dovid Rosenberg, executive director, Scranton Hebrew Day School; Charles Atkins, head of school, Columbia County Christian School; Robert Gresh, head of school, Grace Prep High School; and Ken Tanis, headmaster emeritus, Delaware County Christian School.
For more information about the Policy Committee and hearing materials, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.