Sen. Alloway’s recent letter voicing his support for Senate Bill 2, a school voucher bill, could have easily been cut and pasted from any number of voucher talking point pieces from the last 30 years. Sen. Alloway’s constituents should be asking him this question: Who is really supporting this voucher scheme? Taxpayers in his district who will pay higher school taxes in order to fund students’ private education? Or corporate donors who are giving campaign contributions to his party leaders?
Alloway himself acknowledges that the voucher program in Senate Bill 2 will take money out of public schools if students use taxpayer-funded vouchers to go to private schools. We’ve seen with cyber charter schools that when students leave and take funding with them, school districts are left with holes in their budgets that can only be filled by increasing school property taxes or making cuts in programs and services for students who remain in the public schools. Moreover, private and cyber schools often do not have accountability for standards that ensure Pennsylvania's children will be truly educated.
Alloway’s constituents should note where he stands on the issue of public education: He does not support our local public schools. Alloway did not stand with the taxpayers in his district and the students who attend underfunded public schools where they have experienced deep cuts over the past few years. Instead, he stood with corporate donors and his party leadership and has stated he will provide the one vote needed to advance out of the Senate Education Committee a school voucher bill that will give our hard-earned dollars to private schools.
In truth, Sen. Alloway has aligned himself against the bedrock of a civil society — a well-educated public — in favor of education only for the privileged.
Melinda M. Schwenk-Borrell