News Column

Stack Joins Rally Calling for House Vote on School Funding

August 4, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 4 -- The Pennsylvania State Senate Democrats issued the following news release on the behalf of Pennsylvania State Sen. Mike Stack:

State Sen. Mike Stack today joined Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), legislative colleagues and hundreds of Philadelphia school advocates at a rally in the Capitol urging leaders of the state House to vote on a bill that would provide urgently needed funding for Philadelphia schools.

"Abandoning the responsibility to govern shows and abiding disregard for the constitutional obligation to provide for public education," he told the crowd gathered on the steps of the Main Rotunda. "The final decision by House Republican leaders is a historic abdication of duty that will carry repercussions well into the future."

The rally was sparked by the recent decision of House leadership to cancel a session scheduled for today to vote on House Bill 1177, which would authorize Philadelphia to impose a $2-a-pack tax on cigarettes to provide as much as $80 million for schools.

The state-appointed school reform commission has said city schools cannot open on time without the funding and each week of delay in voting on the measure costs city students $1.6 million.

"It is unthinkable that no one in the administration has the political courage or strength to prevent a catastrophic collapse of a school district that they fought so hard to gain control of 13 years ago," Stack said.

House Bill 1177 passed the Senate by a vote of 43-5 a month ago, and House leaders had scheduled a concurrence vote for this week. According to numerous media reports, some House members expressed reluctance at cutting short their summer recess to vote on the bill, while others expressed concern with individual provisions not related to city school funding.

"If there are members of the House that don't like House Bill 1177 as written, let them come to Harrisburg and fix it," Stack said.

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Source: Targeted News Service

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