podcastED: SUFS president Doug Tuthill interviews Pennsylvania State Sen. Scott Martin

On this episode, Tuthill talks to the chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee about education choice in the Keystone State and the outcome of the 2021 legislative session. Despite a divided government, Pennsylvania created new charter school authorizers and increased its Educational Improvement Tax Credit program funding by $40 million, bringing total funding to $225 million.

Tuthill and Martin discuss how Martin’s upbringing as the oldest of seven children influences his ambition to expand education choice to all those who want it. They also discuss the politics of trying to expand choice with a Democratic governor as well as legislative plans for additional choice options in Pennsylvania.

“There’s all different reasons family may want to seek a different education opportunity beyond just whether a school might be failing. The environment may not be right for them (socially), or for a disability. That often gets lost in these conversations.”

EPISODE DETAILS

  • Pennsylvania’s education choice options and what happened during the recent legislative session
  • The politics of a divided state government and negotiating for choice expansion
  • The charter school landscape in Pennsylvania and creation of new pathways for authorization outside school districts
  • How COVID-19 upended Pennsylvania’s education system