Harrisburg — State Senator John DiSanto today announced that the Senate Education Committee passed his Education Savings Account legislation, Senate Bill 2, and it now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
Senate Bill 2 would authorize education savings accounts (ESAs) for students in the lowest 15% performing public schools in the state. For families choosing the ESA option, the state share of education dollars available for these students, about $5,700 on average, would be deposited into restricted-use, online accounts controlled by parents and supervised by the state. Local dollars averaging more than $10,000 per student would remain with the public school.
Participating families could spend ESA funds on various educational services: private school tuition, curriculum, certified tutoring, and approved therapies for students with special needs. Schools receiving ESA dollars will be subject to accountability and student achievement measures, the results of which will be publicly accessible.
After the committee vote, Senator DiSanto thanked his colleagues “for sending a lifeline to kids who, because of their zip code and modest family finances, may be trapped in a low performing school that isn’t meeting their educational needs.”
DiSanto continued, “ESAs fulfill the mission of public education, which is to ensure all children have access to a high-quality education and can reach their maximum potential. Let’s give kids in the poorest performing public schools a real opportunity to get the education that works for them. I call on the full Senate to take up this bill soon.”
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