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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 25, 2021 11:58 AM
From: Senator Judy Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Helping Pa. Students Get “Back on Track”
While some schools were able to adapt instruction during the Coronavirus pandemic, the sad reality is that many students have fallen behind.

We must embrace new solutions to get Pennsylvania students back on track academically.
I will be reintroducing legislation (SB 1230) to create Back on Track Education Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) for students whose education was disrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic. Back on Track ESAs will empower parents to get their children the specific help they need.

Under my bill, parents with school age children (K to 12) will receive funding in an account to offset educational costs. These accounts will help students get back on track after the Coronavirus pandemic. The accounts would be administered by the state Treasurer, much like the existing 529 program, with all funding coming from additional federal funding that may become available in the COVID-19 Response Restricted Account.

Back on Track ESAs could only be used by families for students education-related needs like tutoring, online classes, curriculum, tuition, counseling, and services for students with special needs.

I appreciate your consideration of this bill and hope to work with many of you to provide much-needed relief to Pennsylvania families and students. Together, we can ensure our students get back on track.