Pennsylvania state Representative Clint Owlett (R-Wellsboro) on Tuesday announced he will reintroduce legislation to guarantee school choice to students in the state’s most poorly performing school districts.
Under Owlett’s proposed law, families of such students could also use the new “lifeline scholarships” to pay for textbooks, special-needs services and other qualifying expenses.
A regulatory review panel on Monday approved numerous new administrative rules imposed by Pennsylvania’s executive branch on charter schools, a move the institutions did not welcome.
Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) Chair George Bedwick, Commissioner Murray Ufberg and Commissioner Dennis Watson, all appointed to the board by Democratic state officials, voted in favor of the new regulations. Vice Chair John Mizner and Commissioner John Soroko, both Republican appointees, voted in opposition.
Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives Education Committee Tuesday issued a letter opposing new regulations Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has imposed on the state’s charter schools.
All 15 Republicans on the committee voted to authorize the letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) while all 10 Democrats voted against it. Majority Chairman Curt Sonney (R-Erie) said the panel is not voicing opposition to every new rule on the list published last month but merely those that frustrate reputable charter schools’ ability to operate.