Scholarship Program Gets Mixed Reviews

Supporters of the state’s new scholarship program for students in underachieving schools say the program gives children a chance for a better education. Others say it’s just a scaled-back version of an earlier voucher program state legislators have been unable to pass.

The new Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program will provide students who live within the boundaries of determined “low-achieving” schools a chance to apply for funding to attend a school approved by Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Private schools are eligible to apply to serve as host schools for incoming students.

Five schools from Franklin County appeared on the original list produced from the PDE last week: Ben Chambers Elementary; Thaddeus Stevens Elementary; St. Thomas Elementary; Mercersburg Elementary; and Fannett-Metal Middle School. The list is the lowest 15 percent of performers in combined reading and math scores at the elementary and secondary level.

Data was culled from the 2010-11 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment. All but Ben Chambers Elementary made Adequate Yearly Progress during the 2010-11 PSSA.

The OSTC follows the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program.

Click here to read the full article by Brian Hall published in the Chambersburg Public Opinion (August 8, 2012)

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