Nov. 16, 2023

HARRISBURG – Working to ensure all Pennsylvania students have access to quality education, Rep. Joe D’Orsie (R-Manchester) is planning to introduce a bill that would give students and their parents more educational opportunities by creating the Student Freedom Account Program.

“Every year, hundreds of thousands of students are trapped in public schools that fail to meet their educational needs. The only thing obstructing their freedom to choose a more fitting educational environment is legislative access to this potentially life-altering choice,” D’Orsie said. “It’s past time Pennsylvania clears a way for the best education possible for students, no matter their ZIP code.”

The program would tie state education funding to students rather than systems by allowing the state education allocation to follow the student to their school of choice. The funds, which would be housed in individualized Student Freedom Accounts, would be used by students to attend the school of their choice, such as a parochial or charter school. 

As other states like Florida, Arizona, Indiana, and our neighbors to the west, West Virginia and Ohio, implement school choice programs with great success, national education advocates look to Pennsylvania to follow suit.

“The lack of educational choice here in our Commonwealth is tragic,” said D’Orsie. “We have students literally trapped in poor performing schools with close to 0% proficiency in reading and math, but we also have students who are being blocked from a specialized education that would allow them to focus on a real-world skill or craft. Both students on this spectrum, and every student in between, deserves an opportunity to choose their educational course. It’s past time the state starts supporting students and families instead of stripping them of their right to choose their educational future.”

D'Orsie will introduce the bill in the coming weeks. 

Representative Joe D’Orsie
47th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross