June 24, 2011 1:51PM

The PA Senate, not House, Is Blocking the Expansion of School Choice

Republicans in Pennsylvania's House, which has been reluctant to take up a controversial Senate voucher bill, have been on the receiving end of an intense lobbying campaign for vouchers.

I am all for grassroots groups putting pressure on lawmakers to do the right thing. But amidst all the sound and fury, those pursuing vouchers with such single-mindedness seem to have missed one very important fact; the House already did the right thing. They passed a massive expansion of the existing, successful, and uncontroversial education tax credit program by a massive margin (only 4 percent opposed).

The Educational Improvement Tax Credit program is vastly superior to all of the voucher bills under consideration. It has shockingly broad bipartisan support. It was easily expanded in the House. But for some reason, the Senate will not take it up.

There are good reasons for Republicans and Democrats in the House to oppose all of the voucher bills. There is no good reason for the Senate to refuse to expand the education tax credit program.

So, I have a few  questions for the activists pounding away for vouchers.

Why not melt the Senate phone lines instead of the House? Why is a new, inferior voucher program more important than expanding the better, less controversial, more cost-effective tax credit program?