HARRISBURG, Pa. — The quality of education for some students across the Commonwealth has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and for this reason, republican state officials voted on a bill to make access to better education easier for Pennsylvania families.
If passed into law, the "Excellence in Education for All Act" or Senate Bill 1 will increase funding for Education Improvement and Opportunity Scholarship tax credits, apply stronger transparency measures for charter schools, and more advancements to improve the quality of charter schools.
Republican State Senator Scott Martin is the primary sponsor of the bill and says the increase in tax credits will aid greatly.
"We had literally close to 40,000 students in their families who tried to proactively do something in the name of bettering their child's interest was denied because of the current caps we have on that program," said Sen. Martin of the 13th district in Lancaster County.
A spokesperson from the Pennsylvania State Education Association says funding for private schools is great, but the amount of money that will be used for Senate Bill 1 will be coming out of the public school system.
"The idea of spending that much of taxpayers' money on those programs when public schools need resources now more than ever is really just shocking to us," said David Broderic.
Senator Martin says this is not necessarily the case.
"If we think we're going to see a mass exodus from our public school districts I will say that's not the case," said Sen. Martin, "you might see that in places where their school districts aren't opening up, school districts that might be failing their kids, but for all the wonderful school districts that we have out there it may not make a change to them at all."
The proposed legislation has passed the senate committee and is headed to the full Senate for consideration.