Commonwealth Foundation calls for expanded school choice policies in 23-point legislative agenda for 2023

Arbitrary program caps denied more than 75,000 Pennsylvania K-12 student applications and turned away $116 million in business donations in 2019-20, prompting the Commonwealth Foundation to recommend that the state implement an escalator that allows credits to automatically grow in proportion to student need.

Editor’s note: This article appeared Monday on City & State Pennsylvania’s website. You can read the Commonwealth Foundation’s full plan here.

A Harrisburg free-market think tank unveiled its 2023 legislative agenda this week, which proponents say is backed by polling data and could help revitalize the commonwealth – if lawmakers adopt its recommendations.

The Commonwealth Foundation’s “Better Pennsylvania” plan proposes a raft of reforms to how the state approaches education, tax policy, criminal justice and labor unions, among other topics.

“It’s a 23-point agenda that equips lawmakers and state officials with a very practical roadmap to get Pennsylvania back on the right track, restore hope to our citizens across the Commonwealth, and set us on a better path that allows all Pennsylvanians to flourish,” said Jennifer Stephano, the Commonwealth Foundation’s executive vice president.

The policy plan includes a slate of recommendations that have become hallmarks of the think tank’s work in state government. The plan calls for an expansion of the state’s tax credit scholarship programs, the creation of restricted-use Education Opportunity Accounts, and a report card-style grading system for public schools.

The Commonwealth Foundation also calls for the implementation of spending limits on state government, replacing certain tax credits with broader business tax cuts and pulling the state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate carbon pricing initiative.

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BY Special to NextSteps