NEWS: Pennsylvania Senator Says It's Urgent That House Pass School Choice Plan

From The Patriot-News:

Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin County, didn’t say it’s now or never for school vouchers, but he clearly expressed a view that the time to enact a school choice plan in Pennsylvania is now or not until after next year’s election at the earliest.

The Senate passed a school reform plan in October that provided for a voucher program, as well as charter school reform and an expansion of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, a program that provides tax credits to companies that donate to private school scholarships or fund innovative public school education programs.

Gov. Tom Corbett supports the direction that the Senate-passed Senate Bill 1 heads but at the time of Senate passage, a spokeswoman said he had some changes he wanted to see made.

Senate Bill 1 now awaits action in the House.

Piccola told a crowd gathered for the Education Policy and Leadership Center’s School Choices Forum that he hears conflicting reports about what, if anything, the House will do with the legislation.

“Having served there for 19 years that’s pretty much par for the course for the House of Representatives,” Piccola said.

House Republican spokesman Steve Miskin said House Republicans, who control the chamber, plan to continue discussions on education reform, including Senate Bill 1, on Monday when they return to Harrisburg. As far as the likelihood that the chamber would vote on an education reform plan before recessing for the holidays, he said that is the goal.

Piccola said the next two weeks would prove to be the most important in this latest push to pass a school voucher plan in Pennsylvania.

Read more here: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/11/sen_jeffrey_piccola_says_his_3.html