PHILADELPHIA, April 28, 2009 – State Sen. Anthony H. Williams, a long-time advocate for educational improvements and innovation, has been appointed to the Senate Committee on Education. Williams hopes that this role will expand his ability to impact education for the better in the 8th Senatorial district and across the Commonwealth.

“Education has always been one of my priorities since I started as a legislator,” Williams said. “I am thankful that the Senate has recognized the work I have done and that I will have the opportunity to contribute in a substantive and direct way to the future of education in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s tax dollars must be used effectively to fund quality educational programs — public, private and charter — that also maintain accountability and results.”

Throughout his life, Williams has seen the benefits of both his public and private educations. Williams learned the importance of education from his mother, a retired public school teacher, and hears her stories about the struggling system. While in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly, Williams was one of only a few Democrats to speak in support of school choice, helping to pass charter school legislation.

While in the Senate, Williams authored a bill to bring retired teachers back into the classroom in cases of emergency and helped pass the Educational Improvement Tax Credit legislation, which allows companies to fund educational scholarships.

Williams took his passion for education into the classroom, founding and now chairing the Hardy Williams Academy Charter School, which was renamed after his father earlier this year. Williams also helped charter Philadelphia’s Black Alliance for Educational Options, an organization founded to support and educate African Americans about school choice.

A nationally recognized champion of educational innovation, Williams has spoken at national conferences, discussed Pennsylvania’s programs with legislators from other states and expressed his support for school choice to Pennsylvania’s federal legislators.

“With the growing and increasingly competitive global marketplace, our students need and deserve every chance to remain competitive,” Williams said. “Improving education — through innovation and an emphasis on STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] subjects — will improve our economy, further fueling investments in education and scientific advancements.

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