Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

Poll finds Pennsylvanians oppose school voucher program


NOVEMBER 2011 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Poll finds Pennsylvanians oppose school voucher program


REGION, October 15th- Funding cuts for public schools in Pennsylvania continues to be a huge topic and according to a new poll citizens of the commonwealth oppose the decreases.

Findings of the latest Terry Madonna Opinion Research survey, released on October 5th, found that Pennsylvanians strongly support investing in tutoring students, reducing class sizes and making schools safer.

By a similarly wide margin, state citizens oppose creating a taxpayer-funded voucher system for private and religious schools. Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett recently announced he supports a “school voucher program” that if implemented would take even more funds from public schools.

“By a nearly two-to-one margin, Pennsylvanians oppose the recent funding cuts to the Commonwealth’s public schools, stated Michael Crossey, President of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) Union, the state’s largest school employee labor organization. The PSEA represents approximately 193,000 active, and retired teachers, other school employees and health care workers in Pennsylvania.

The Madonna poll asked Pennsylvanians for their views regarding the $860 million cut from public schools as part of the state budget Governor Corbett signed into law in June. Sixty-nine percent of the people polled said they oppose or strongly oppose these cuts, while only 27 percent said they favor or strongly favor the action.

According to Keystone Progress, a left-leaning political action group in Harrisburg, since the public school funding cuts, many districts have raised property taxes; cut in after-school tutoring and mentoring programs; Kindergarten has been reduced to a half a day instead of full day; students have outdated materials and fewer computers; there are part-time school nurses; and fees are being imposed to play sports and participate in after school activities.

Under Mr. Corbett’s proposal, taxpayer money will be spent on a voucher program that gives hundreds of millions of dollars to private and sectarian religious schools that are not accountable for academic standards or results, or for their financial doings. After funneling money away from the community schools, many school children are left behind with fewer resources.

Keystone Progress stated there is no evidence that vouchers improve student achievement and choices. What choice will parents have when non-public schools can favor or exclude students based on gender, religion, ability, and behavior.

No comments so far

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>


(required but not displayed)