Pileggi praises school aid legislation

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9) last month praised Governor Tom Corbett for signing legislation advanced by Senator Jeff Piccola to provide a comprehensive framework for identifying and assisting fiscally distressed school districts in Pennsylvania.

With his signature, the Governor has given the state the ability to provide meaningful assistance to fiscally distressed school districts, Senator Pileggi said. Time has proven that simply sending more state funds to these districts is not the answer. New safeguards are needed for these districts to ensure that scarce tax dollars are more efficiently used to prepare children to succeed.

Senator Pileggi also commended Governor Corbett for his advocacy on a broad set of education reforms. Working together with Governor Corbett and the House, we advanced many important education reforms in concert with the passage of this years state budget, he said. We expanded the successful Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, created a new EITC 2.0 program for students trapped in the worst schools, established a system to effectively evaluate teacher performance, implemented strong superintendent contract reforms, and enacted laws to modernize the State System of Higher Education.

Senator Pileggi said he will work with Senator Piccola, Governor Corbett and House leaders in the coming months to finish work on a strong set of charter school reforms and Senator Pat Brownes Senate Bill 1115 to study how the state funds special education.

Senator Piccola, chairman of the Senate Education Committee and a staunch advocate of charter school reform, said, My goals are to strengthen and reform our now 15-year-old charter school law by ensuring true transparency and accountability for those privileged to operate our charter schools that are funded by taxpayer dollars; implementing direct state payments to charter schools; creating a statewide authorizer that removes the monopoly of school districts to approve charter schools; and giving school districts the ability to convert their buildings into charter schools to enjoy the cost savings and mandate relief that such conversions would bring.

More information about state issues is available at Senator Pileggis web site, www.SenatorPileggi.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SenatorPileggi, or on Twitter at twitter.com/SenatorPileggi.

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