Supporters in Pennsylvania Rally For School Choice Bill

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

HARRISBURG – Borrowing the language and imagery of the civil rights movement, speaker after speaker told a crowd that filled the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday that the failing public schools of today are no different than the segregated schools of a half-century ago.

Hundreds of supporters of a proposal to help low-income children transfer to schools of their choice rallied boisterously under the Capitol dome, portraying the issue as the new educational battleground.

“We are ready to challenge any and all who oppose freedom, who oppose choice,” said Sen. Jeffrey Piccola (R., Dauphin), holding up a copy of Senate Bill 1, his proposal to create state-funded vouchers.

Piccola, who first proposed vouchers 16 years ago, said he was ready to take on the educational establishment to see his bill through. Lest anyone wonder who Piccola meant, he singled out the Pennsylvania State Education Association, which is the state’s largest teachers union, and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

“Vouchers is not a four-letter word,” Piccola said. “PSEA is a four-letter word, and PSBA is a four-letter word.”

The rally came a week after Gov. Corbett pledged in his inaugural address to fulfill his campaign promise to deliver school choice to Pennsylvania families.

Tuesday’s Rotunda rally brought together an unusual coalition of voucher supporters: urban and rural, white and black, Republican, Democratic, and tea party.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/education/20110126_Supporters_rally_in_Capitol_for_school-choice_Senate_bill.html