PA Tea Party Coalition Blasts 'School Choice' Senator As Irresponsible
Despite being known as the “School Choice” leader in the Pennsylvania Senate, Jeff Piccola chose to kill a bill expanding choice through tax credits --- ironically, a program he supports. The legislation passed the 203-member House with 190 votes, yet because Piccola cannot muster the votes for his own education reform bill, he labeled the Tax Credit bill “dead on arrival.” The Tea Party is furious . . .
Harrisburg, PA (May 11, 2011) -- The Grassroots Coalition for Real School Choice, an association of over 20 Pennsylvania groups representing thousands of voters, has announced, today, its full support of House Bill 1330, an expansion of the state's Educational Improvement Tax Credit program that provides tuition assistance to middle and low income students attending private schools.
Yesterday, HB 1330 passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by a vote of 190-7.
At the same time Coalition leaders were endorsing HB 1330, they were condemning the remarks of State Senator Jeff Piccola (R-PA) that the bill was "dead on arrival" in the Senate.
"While we congratulate PA House members for their overwhelming support of HB 1330, we have no idea what prompted Senator Piccola, a school choice advocate, to say the bill was 'dead on arrival' in the Senate," said
Coalition leader, Teri Adams, President of the Independence Hall Tea Party Association.
"The EITC Scholarship program is a clean, budget neutral, and proven program--why would Senator Piccola, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, make such an irresponsible remark?"
Coalition leader, Sharon Cherubin, Executive Director of UNITEPA, added "the EITC Scholarship program is a broad-based, highly touted
program that reflects real school choice.
"It is estimated that 80,000 Pennsylvania school children will benefit from this program in the first year. In the following year, that number could double," she said.
"And the good part is that the EITC Scholarship Program is strictly financed by corporate donations. In exchange for donations, the state provides participating corporations with generous tax credits. The program is not a budget buster."