As per this article from the PA Independent, there’s a movement in the state House to replace vouchers with a tax credit. For those not following, vouchers would be payments given to parents who can then pay tuition at private or parochial schools. The voucher proposal that has the Governor’s backing would directly steer public dollars to non-public schools. The newly proposed tax credits, referred to as Education Improvement Scholarship Credits, are a convenient way to sidestep both criticism and a law that would likely find itself challenged in court.
The plan is modeled after the Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and, while better than vouchers in that they don’t use tax dollars, actually end up draining the public coffers anyway by preventing tax dollars from ever making it to the state in the first place. The actual fiscal impact is unclear, except that it will invariably play into the state GOP’s consistent efforts to starve the beast and weaken public education.
The issue is framed as a way to get students out of poorly performing school districts, but the end result is that poorly performing districts, which would benefit from better funding, will continue to be starved.