The Arc Pennsylvania Signs Letter Opposing School Vouchers

The Arc Pennsylvania signed onto a letter in opposition to HB 1717. This bill creates redirects an amount equal to 90% of the average per-student state funding in a school district into an “individual empowerment scholarship account” for each student whose parents enroll them in a private school. Eligible students include students with disabilities, student in low-performing districts, and children of service members on active duty or killed in the line of duty. Schools accepting these funds are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race or national origin, but not on the basis of religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or even disability. Furthermore, participating non-public schools will not be required to follow the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Thus, this program drains funds from public schools and directs them toward private schools where students with disabilities are not guaranteed an appropriate education or freedom from discrimination.