Dear Editor:

Melinda Schwenk-Borrell (Letter to the editor, The Sentinel, Feb. 2, 2018) must not have read Sen. Alloway’s column. Sen. Alloway makes a compelling case for helping low-income kids in failing schools through education savings accounts (ESAs).

For example, “Schools should receive funding based on the number of students they enroll and educate, not based on the number of students they wished they enrolled, or the number of students they failed to educate.” That’s the basic argument.

ESAs are not vouchers (not that there is anything wrong with vouchers). ESAs are flexible spending accounts that can be used for tutoring, special needs services, and curriculum, not only for private school tuition.

Ms. Schwenk-Borrell’s claim that ESAs will result in “education only for the privileged” is absurd. Many taxpayers can afford to live in better districts or pay for other education options, but ESAs in Pennsylvania will make those options available to all families. In Senate Bill 2, ESAs help families in the worst 15 percent of school districts in the state. That’s a big step toward education equality, putting the decision-making of education back into parents’ hands.

Further, Ms. Schwenk-Borrell states that, “our hard-earned dollars” will go to private schools. With all due respect, it should not be the decision of people like Ms. Schwenk-Borrell, or the state government, to instruct its citizens where education should take place. It’s high time that Pennsylvanians took back the right to choose the best education for their children. Senate Bill 2 can be a catalyst to securing educational freedom in the Commonwealth.

As Alloway noted, “if low-performing schools consistently fail to provide a quality education to students, then parents should be given greater power to dictate how their tax dollars could be put to better use in educating their children.”

Sen. Alloway is right and we should thank him for putting our children first.

Dan Kern



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