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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: September 9, 2021 10:47 AM
From: Representative Jessica Benham and Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting LGBTQ Students from Discrimination
Each year the Educational Improvement and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credits (EITC & OSTC) programs provide for scholarships that help Pennsylvania children afford to go to a school other than their school district of residence. In fact, over 60,000 scholarships were awarded to K-12 students in 2018-2019. Unfortunately, students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community  are often cut from receiving this financial support because some private schools choose to discriminate against them in the admissions process.
Because of this harmful oversight, we are introducing legislation that will protect LGBTQ+ students from being discriminated against by schools that receive funding through EITC and OSTC. It would do this by requiring that schools which receive funding through these programs have a written policy of nondiscrimination. Regardless of how you might feel about these programs in particular, we hope everyone can agree that any program that spends hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars should be implemented in a nondiscriminatory way.
The status quo of EITC and OSTC will continue to alienate a vulnerable group of students—this is unacceptable and needs to be changed. No student should be forced to hide who they are to receive a scholarship to attend school. Please help make this a reality by co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1878