House passes bill to provide college scholarships to students from low-performance schools

Pennsylvania legislators have passed a bill to grant college education scholarship funding to students in low-performance schools as determined by state exam records.

The legislation, House Bill 2169 sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett (R- Tioga/Bradford/Potter), evaluates public school districts with state exam scores in the bottom 15th percentile. Eligible students must attend a school within a low-performing district.

The Lifeline Scholarship Grant would amount to a starting value of $6,697 per student, according to current estimates. Students in special education classes would be eligible for additional funding.

The grant amounts would be deducted from a school district’s state revenue for each eligible student who participates in the program, according to the bill.

Research from the PA Department of Education (PDE) estimates 382 low-achieving schools across 76 school districts, enrolling approximately 191,000 students.

Eligible schools include community colleges, universities within the State System of Higher Education, state-designated institutions, and select private colleges, as defined by the application.

Examples of state institutions include Penn State, Pennsylvania College of Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, according to the bill.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 104-93 and now moves on to the Senate for consideration.

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