#PAGov: Jake Wheatley Voted for Vouchers in a Military Bill

In December 2011, the Pennsylvania State Senate voted on Senate Bill 560, which established the State Military College Legislative Appointment Program, and sent the bill to the House.  While the bill was in the House, State Representative Killion added a 100 page pro-voucher amendment to the 3 page bill, and guess what….Jake Wheatley, Tom Wolf’s endorsee for the vice chair of the state democratic committee, was one of 4 House Democrats to vote for the amendment.  The amendment was defeated by 15 votes.  The bill and the amendment can be found below.

Project Vote Smart stated the following:

  • Prohibits charter schools from assessing any tuition charges for resident or non-resident students (Sec. 6).
  • Requires the school district in which each charter school student resides to pay to the charter school an amount equivalent to the amount of funding required to support the same student at a public school, and to deduct the amount from payments received from the state (Sec. 6).
  • Authorizes a charter school to enter into a concurrent enrollment agreement with an institution of higher education and award academic credit to “concurrent students” (Sec. 2).
  • Defines “concurrent student” as a student who is enrolled in a school district, charter school, vocational-technical school, nonpublic school, private school or a home education program and who takes a concurrent course at an institution of higher education through a concurrent enrollment program (Sec. 3).
  • Specifies that attendance at a cyber charter school shall satisfy requirements for compulsory school attendance (Sec. 6).
  • Authorizes charter schools to be located in any of the following areas (Sec. 6):
    • An existing public school building, or a part of an existing public school building;
    • A space provided on a privately owned site;
    • A public building; or
    • Any other suitable location.
  • Requires school districts to make their unused facilities available for lease or sale to charter schools operating within that school district (Sec. 6).
  • Authorizes charter schools to limit admission to any of the following types of students (Sec. 6):
    • Students from a particular grade level;
    • At-risk students from a targeted population group; or
    • Students specializing in one or more disciplines including, but not limited to, mathematics, language, or the arts.
  • Requires charter schools to provide 900 hours per year of instruction at the elementary level or 990 hours per year of instruction at the secondary level (Sec. 6).
  • Prohibits charter schools from providing religious instruction or displaying religious objects and symbols on the premises of the school with the intention of advancing or endorsing religion (Sec. 6).
  • Establishes a tax credit for businesses that contribute to a scholarship organization or educational improvement organization of no more than 75 percent of the total amount contributed during the tax year, and limits the tax credit to the following amounts (Sec. 6):
    • For fiscal year 2011-2012, no more than $400,000 per firm; and
    • For fiscal year 2012-2013, no more than $750,000 per firm.

 

 

SB560

Voucher Amendment

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About Sean Kitchen 595 Articles
Assistant Editor of the Raging Chicken Press and living in Harrisburg pursuing journalistic opportunities. You can send tips to SeanKitchen@RagingChickenPress.org and reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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