A mid-state senator plans to push a bill authorizing education savings accounts, which are the latest iteration of school tuition vouchers. AFTPA President Ted Kirsch released a statement opposing this failed privatization strategy. “Let’s not waste time going down this road again – when 20-years of research has shown privatization schemes such as these fail to raise student achievement," Kirsch said. "All students and communities deserve good, neighborhood public schools with the resources to address children’s needs. That’s where we should focus our attention and invest our tax dollars.”
AFT Pennsylvania opposes taxpayer-funded school vouchers, education scholarship tax credits (Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs), which are back-door vouchers that use tax breaks to subsidize private and parochial schools. Vouchers represent a false hope for a few children, while most vouchers/scholarships are used by students already attending private schools. Vouchers do not deliver better outcomes for students and leave fewer resources for public school programs that are proven to work.
The 2018 budget proposal released by the White House on March 16 "takes a meat cleaver to public education" and ignores promised investments in the types of skills, training and other vital family supports that Trump rode to the White House in 2016, AFT President Randi Weingarten says.
AFT Pennsylvania's Executive Council has approved a resolution opposing legislative efforts to eliminate school property taxes across the commonwealth. The resolution was approved unanimously by the Executive Council March 10. The property tax elimination bill has not been introduced yet.