Harrisburg, Pa., December 15, 2023 – Today, the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives sent to the Governor’s desk a new school code bill, House Bill 301, which makes a groundbreaking commitment to education freedom through a $150 million increase for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs.
HB 301 marks the most substantial increase for these programs since their inception. The Commonwealth Foundation commends lawmakers who supported this historic expansion of school choice and urges Shapiro to sign the bill into law.
“House Bill 301 marks a critical step toward expanding opportunities for children and enhancing educational freedom in Pennsylvania,” said Stephen Bloom, vice president at the Commonwealth Foundation. “We applaud both chambers for working together to pass the biggest-ever expansion of Pennsylvania’s tax credit scholarships. It will mean thousands more kids can access the education that fits their academic needs.”
Despite the program’s positive record of providing scholarships to thousands of students across the state, critics have demanded further accountability and transparency. This legislation incorporates additional measures to address those concerns. With this debate settled, Pennsylvania can now focus on providing more students with a quality education.
Bloom continued: “While the General Assembly’s passage of House Bill 301 represents tremendous progress, much more work remains to help the thousands of kids trapped in failing schools. The Lifeline Scholarships Program, also known as the Pennsylvania Award for Students Success (PASS), remains the solution. The Lifeline Scholarships/PASS Program, a key unfinished budget priority for Shapiro, garners widespread bipartisan support. We urge Pennsylvania House Democrats to stop blocking Lifeline Scholarships/PASS and work with the Senate to complete the budget. Students in violent, failing schools can’t afford to wait any longer.”
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