Philadelphia- January 24, 2011– State Sen. Anthony H. Williams, (D-Phila. and Delaware County) co-sponsor and leading proponent of Senate Bill 1, the Opportunity Scholarship Act, will address hundreds of students, parents and other supporters of school choice at a rally tomorrow at the State Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg. The rally is one of several events in support of National School Choice Week in Pennsylvania.
Supporters of SB-1 and school reform from around the state will gather at 2 p.m. at the Capitol Rotunda to have their voices heard and to listen to Williams, who has been the driving force behind the landmark legislation and the school choice movement for over 20 years. Sen. Jeff Piccola (R-York and Dauphin), SB-1 primary sponsor, will also address the gathering. The rally is co-sponsored by several organizations, including Students First, the American Federation for Children, Black Alliance for Educational Options and the REACH Foundation.
“To those that stand in opposition to this legislation and suggest we need to be patient while they fix our failing schools, I say we have sacrificed more than a generation. How many more years and how many more children’s futures?” said Williams. “We cannot afford to be patient anymore. We must pass school choice now.”
SB-1 will be introduced tomorrow. If passed, the new law will initially provide scholarships to low income students in the state’s worst performing schools. The scholarship would allow them to attend a public, private, parochial or public charter school of their choice. The bill enjoys broad based support from local unions as well as recently inaugurated Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. Senate Hearings on the Opportunity Scholarship Act are scheduled for February 16th in Harrisburg.
Williams will also participate in a School Choice panel discussion organized by Freedom Works on Tuesday. Later in the evening, Williams and Piccola will co-host a private screening and discussion of the film Waiting for Superman. This private screening in Harrisburg is one in a series of state capital events around the country for legislators and state government officials.
During National School Choice Week, school choice advocates across the nation are uniting to shine a spotlight on effective education options for every child. National School Choice Week was created to raise awareness about all forms of educational choice, including charter schools, independent schools, magnet schools, and home schooling, and the need for an effective educational system that offers parents the freedom to choose their children’s education. Over 150 organizations, leading policymakers, and opinion leaders will participate, including The Center for Education Reform, American Federation for Children, Alliance for School Choice, Children’s Scholarship Fund, Association of American Educators, Foundation for Excellence in Education, and many more. School Choice Week isn’t about raising one education model above others or doing away with public schools, but about reforming the system so that every parent has the power to choose the education that fits their individual child.
For more information about National School Choice Week or Senator Anthony H. Williams, please visit www.senatoranthonyhwilliams.com
Media Contact: Michael S. Nixon