School is out and the state legislature has recessed for the summer, but school choice is still being debated all over Pennsylvania. There are two great ways advocates can keep this issue alive over the summer:
1. Visit your state legislators in their district offices
Summer is a good time to reach legislators in their home district offices. You can look up their local contact information by logging into the PA Catholic Advocacy Network. Or you use the PCC’s easy website tool to send an e-mail message. Forward the message to friends, family and neighbors. A strong show of grassroots support will reinforce the need to waste no more time passing school choice when the legislature returns to session in September.
2. Show your support by attending a public hearing
As legislators prepare to vote on school choice legislation when they return in the fall, committees in both the House and Senate are holding hearings. The legislators will be hearing official testimony from both supporters and opponents of school choice, but a strong presence of supporters in the audience will make a big impact. If your schedule allows, all are welcome to attend these hearings. Bring your children or grandchildren; wear your school’s colors or a button that shows your support; make a sign that says “School Choice Now” or another encouraging message. Many Catholic schools and parishes have a supply of school choice signs. Check with your principal or pastor to see if signs are available.
The first few hearings on school choice are:Wednesday, July 27, 2011 – House Education Committee 10:00 am – Temple University, 1810 Liacouras Walk, 1st Floor Philadelphia, PA Tuesday, August 2, 2011 – Senate Democratic Policy Committee 10:00 am – Community College of Philadelphia North East Regional Center (NERC) Community Room, 12901 Townsend Rd. Philadelphia, PA Wednesday, August 3, 2011 – House Education Committee 10:00 am – Majority Caucus Room, Rm. 140 Main Capitol Harrisburg, PA