New School Choice Legislation Introduced in PA Senate

Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia) introduced Senate Bill 1405, the Opportunity Scholarship Act, last month with three Republican co-sponsors.  This legislation represent a huge opportunity to increase parental choice in education in Pennsylvania while saving taxpayers money.

SB 1405 would provide school choice scholarships to low-income students in districts with a failing school.  Similar to EITC, this program is a cost-saver, because nonpublic schools educate students at  significantly lower cost to taxpayers.  

The program would allow public schools to keep half the local funding for students who transfer with scholarships. Savings generated would support the Educational Innovation Fund, created with passage of SB 1405. The fund would finance grants to chronically falling schools and scholarship for students already attending private schools.

The idea borrows CF’s Property Tax Relief Scholarship Act, and our work on the savings and benefits of school choice.

The Opportunity Scholarship Act passage would be a win for Pennsylvania. Currently, it awaits vote in the Senate Education Committee.