Lehigh Valley

Bethlehem School District opposes school choice bill

Bill called 'devastating' to the district

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Saying it would be "devastating" to the district and public education in general, the Bethlehem Area School District is coming out against the latest form of school choice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Directors unanimously voted Monday night to approve a resolution opposing Senate Bill 2, which would establish savings accounts for students who attend low-performing schools across Pennsylvania.

President Michael Faccinetto said the new bill's authors are renaming "tuition vouchers" as "education savings accounts." The bill would redirect taxpayer money away from public schools and allow people to use the money to cover tuition payments at private or religious schools.

"It would be devastating to BASD and public education," he said.

The president said the bill would drain about $500 million in state funding away from more than 70 school districts in the commonwealth. He said schools districts don't have nearly enough money as it is, let alone having the ability to withstanding losing $500 million. 

Faccinetto said the money would be funneled to private and religious schools that have a "lack of accountability" with public tax dollars and are not held to the same requirements as public schools.

The resolution states that not only would public school district state aid be sent to unaccountable schools, it adds that, "such money could also be diverted to higher education, tutoring services and other qualified educational expenses, not even ensuring students receive full-time educational instruction."

Other business

The district approved agreements with Lehigh University for the rental of Stabler Arena for the 2017-2018 graduation ceremonies, in the amounts of $9,285 for Freedom High School and $11,671 for Liberty High School.

The Freedom graduation ceremonies will take place June 6, and those of Liberty on June 7.

DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE  and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links may be removed by the moderator.

This Week's Circulars

Lehigh Valley News

Latest From The Newsroom