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Wolf Vetoes $100M Private, Religious Schools Bill

A GOP backed bill that would have expanded taxpayer support for private and religious schools by $100 million, almost doubling the size of the current program, was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf today.

HB 800, which passed the state House and Senate with Republican support, would have increased Educational Improvement Tax Credit to $210 million annually, but Wolf believes the focus should be on funding public schools.

“Education is the cornerstone of democracy, and it is my job as the leader of this commonwealth to ensure fairness and accountability in our classrooms. House Bill 800 would pour funding into a program that lacks these two critical aspects,” Wolf said in a statement. “We have an accountable public education system in place that is underfunded. I have and I will continue to fight to fully fund Pennsylvania’s public schools.”

Just four Democrats in the state House voted for the bill, while no Democrats in the state Senate supported the legislation.

House Speaker Mike Turzai, who introduced the bill, believes expanding the program would have saved the state money.

Although the bill was shot down as we approach the final days before the budget deadline, a smaller increase for the program still may be on the table in budget talks.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wolf’s budget last year included a $25 million increase for the program.

8 Responses

  1. Public education is the foundation of our American democracy because it brings all persons of the community into one setting – the public school. America is diverse and pluralistic and it needs the cross-fertilization of public schools to prepare our young people for the real world.

    1. This statement is not to deny parents and students from choosing private or religious schools but they should not be funded by taxpayer funds for public education.

  2. Again we depend upon Republicans to give Pennsylvania sound, fair financial advice as to how we provide the highest quality Education without allowing the teachers’ unions to simply take, take, take as though teachers are the penultimate source of all the goodness in the universe. When ALL public school teachers earn what (little) the charter and private school teachers earn, thats when we’ll have equality in the education system. Instead, every public school teacher who takes a 2nd job so he or she can drive a luxury vehicle or live in a huge house or take elaborate summer vacations becomes the fake news headline as needing another pay raise (because– LOOK: they have a 2nd job!) Meanwhile, parent who drive past 3 excellent, higher rated charter or public schools can’t drop their children off at a better place. All because the teachers’ unions have a lock-grip on the Democratic Governor Wolf. Shame on the Democratic party, including all Democrat state politicians, for not defending a parent’s choice to send their child to the school of the parent’s choice through improving the EITF program! Again, we see: the Democratic politicians are never really pro-choice after all. They’re just pro-abortion, and anti-childhood education EITF choice.

    1. They’re private for a reason… they’re often for profit, why give them money? Religious schools have an advantage over everyone else too… they pay nothing in tax. There is no reason these entities should get taxpayer dollars.

  3. More slanted uninformed coverage. This is not a “religious, private schools” bill The EITC program benefits so much more including pre-K and public school programs. With the Harrisburg School District takeover, we see that “insanity” reigns in PA public education. Same failed programs keep getting forwarded while people look for different results. EITC is at least an “outside the box” program. These kinds of slanted articles is why “fake news” is now part of our vocabulary.

  4. Thank god somebody in PA govt knows the Constitution and what is legal and best for Commonwealth.

    1. Remember when you thought Stack was a Republican? And now you are claiming to know Pennsylvania’s Constitutional boundaries. You keep on giving.

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