While the governor said he’ll be looking to leaders in the House and the Senate to now pick up the reins on his education plan, some of those GOP lawmakers were lukewarm in their responses.
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, who spoke at the York charter school event, said afterward that he believed the proposal was “balanced,” and pledged simply to work with the Senate and Gov. Tom Corbett. His chamber, so far, has favored the private-school scholarship tax credits over vouchers.
Over in the Senate, however, Education Committee Chairman Jeffrey Piccola also had some questions for the governor, saying that he still needs to see more details. “It’s all good stuff, of course the devil is in the details,” he said.
Piccola said his chamber, which began to move his school voucher plan in the spring, has “rigorously” vetted vouchers and charter school reforms. He added that he was disappointed but understood why a less broad voucher plan (unlike the amended version of his bill, which would expand eligibility over four years) was offered by the administration.
Corbett’s plan would focus on students in the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools, though a spokesman for the Department of Education declined to release a list of which schools those are.
Piccola said the next step will need to be a plan for moving this legislation forward if it’s all to pass the General Assembly by December.
“I haven’t seen any grand plan for how this is going to move through the House and Senate to the governor,” Piccola said.