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Harper: Voucher Debate Is Coming
Montgomery County State Representative Kate Harper (pictured here) says she believes a school voucher bill will come up for debate this fall or next spring because Governor Tom Corbett supports it, and his fellow Republicans control both the house and senate. The vouchers would help parents pay their children’s tuition at private schools. She says the Pennsylvania State Education Association opposes vouchers very strongly, on the grounds that they would ruin public schools, but she disagrees.
“I don’t see why allowing the parents of children in failing school districts to put them in someplace that works a little better would ruin public schools.”
She represents parts of the North Penn, Wissahickon and Colonial School Districts, and she doubts that many parents in those districts would choose vouchers because the public schools are very good.
“They do well academically, and a very high percentage of our high school seniors go to college and do well there, so we don’t have a problem out here, but if you’re in Philadelphia about half of the kids graduate and, of the ones that graduate, a surprising number can’t read and write.”
Harper says city schools are releasing kids to the world not ready for higher education or work, so their parents need a choice, but whether she would vote for a voucher bill depends on how it’s written. She appeared Tuesday on the WNPV Talk Program Comment Please by Univest.