Tell Governor Shapiro and PA Lawmakers to Reject “Lifeline Scholarships" and Fund PUBLIC Schools.
Senate Republicans in Harrisburg just announced that implementing a new school voucher program is their top priority in the 2023-2024 state budget. They are fast tracking a “Lifeline Scholarship” bill (Senate Bill 795) that would create a brand new voucher program IN ADDITION TO the current $340 million/year EITC/OSTC private school voucher programs.
Governor Shapiro has also affirmed his support for school vouchers for unaccountable private and religious schools. This week acting secretary of education, Dr. Khalid Mumin, wrote in a Q&A letter to members of the Senate Education Committee that Shapiro, “favors adding choices for parents and education opportunity for students and funding lifeline scholarships as long as those choices do not impact school district funding.”
With budget negotiations heating up, we need to tell Governor Shapiro and state lawmakers to REJECT the “Lifeline Scholarship” voucher scheme NOW.
A recent Commonwealth Court ruling found that Pennsylvania’s grossly inadequate and inequitable system for funding public education is unconstitutional. The legislature and governor have been tasked with fixing the public school funding system so that it will comply with the constitutional mandate and "provide for every student to receive a meaningful opportunity to succeed academically, socially, and civically, which requires that all students have access to a comprehensive, effective, and contemporary system of public education."
“Lifeline Scholarships” would undermine the commonwealth’s ability to provide this adequate, equitable, and constitutional funding to our public schools. Every dollar spent paying for a student’s private school tuition bill is a dollar that cannot be invested into our public schools.
Please tell Governor Shapiro and your state lawmakers to REJECT "Lifeline Scholarships" and instead, to take steps toward fixing their broken and unconstitutional school funding system by investing in PUBLIC schools in the 2023-2024 state budget.