State Senator Ryan Aument (R-Lititz) on Thursday introduced legislation that will expand parents’ access to school choice during the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure, Senate Bill 1015, will create an Education Savings Account, allowing parents to potentially receive funding to send their children to schools that are better equipped to address their child’s needs.
“Parents have seen the negative impact on their children from not having in-person instruction,” said Senator Aument. “If schools will not remain open, students and their families deserve options to ensure every child receives a high-quality education.”
Because of transitions to virtual learning, parents who meet the eligibility requirements would be given funds to offset certain costs connected to educational alternatives to their current public school. Some examples include tutors, at-home instructional content, tuition, and testing.
“By removing financial barriers to accessing these valuable tools, Pennsylvania students struggling with learning loss will have a greater chance of getting back on track,” wrote Aument in a recent opinion piece. “Education Savings Accounts will increase access to expanded educational options, offering students, parents, and teachers alike more learning opportunities that are better suited for all.”
Recently, Republican lawmakers in the legislature have aimed to provide parents with more control over their child’s education.
Pennsylvania Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) introduced Senate Bill 996, which specifically describes and outlines certain parental rights as a “fundamental right” for residents of the state.
“The liberty of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, care and welfare of the parent’s child is a fundamental right,” the legislation explains. “Neither a Commonwealth agency nor a non-Commonwealth agency may infringe upon the right… without demonstrating that the law or ordinance is narrowly tailored to meet a compelling governmental interest by the least restrictive means.”
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