PA was among those states in which educational opportunity was jeopardized, according to Alliance for School Choice’s yearbook for 2009-10. The report indicates that 2009 brought setbacks, particularly in Washington DC and Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania-another state with strong bipartisan support-suffered one of the most significant setbacks of 2009 because of the Keystone State’s desperate financial situation. The program, which served nearly 45,000 children in 2008, was targeted for complete elimination by some legislators who sought to close “budget gaps.” The support of Democratic Governor Ed Rendell, State Senator Anthony A. Williams (D-Philadelphia, and State Representative Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia), however, paid off-as the program escaped complete elimination and survived with what school choice supporters hope will be a temporary funding reduction.
The report also highlights the saving to taxpayers brought about by the EITC program:
Taxpayers directly saved $144 million over six years because of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, according to a study by the Indiana-based Foundation for Educational Choice. In addition, the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives estimates that if all the children receiving scholarships between the 2001-02 school year and the 2006-07 school year attended public schools instead, it would have cost the state an additional $1.5 billion dollars over those years.