PA House Passes Historic Legislation to Give Kids in Failing Schools A Chance for Better Education

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HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today passed historic legislation that would empower families by enhancing the opportunity for success in school and in life by giving students in the bottom 15% of schools a lifeline scholarship to go to a school of their choice, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) said.

“While we have kept our commitment to public education, in some schools, it is just not enough. It will never be enough. In some places, the system is broken beyond the ability of money alone to solve the problem. That is why we need to empower families with more choice and more opportunities to give their children a chance for something better,” Benninghoff said.

The legislation, House Bill 2169 sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett (R- Tioga/Bradford/Potter), would allow parents with school age children who reside within the attendance area of a district school in the bottom 15% of performance metrics based on state testing to be eligible to receive a scholarship to offset costs associated with choosing an alternative academic setting that meets their child’s individual learning needs. 

It passed the House by a vote of 104-93.

“To Pennsylvanians, passing this legislation today sends a clear message: Their tax dollars will not go to fund failed systems, but it will go to fund students and to empower families,” Benninghoff said. “This tells taxpayers, of whom we are fiduciaries, that their money will be going to give children an education, and a future, they deserve.”

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.