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Governor Vetoes $100M Private Schools Bill In Pennsylvania

governor_tom_wolf.jpg
Gov. Tom Wolf
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Flickr
Gov. Tom Wolf at the groundbreaking for a research hub at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia.

Gov. Tom Wolf is vetoing budget-season legislation to substantially ramp up taxpayer support for private and religious schools in Pennsylvania.

In Wolf's veto message Tuesday, he questioned why Pennsylvania should expand a tax credit that subsidizes private institutions while the state's public school system remains underfunded.

The Democratic governor also criticized the tax credit program as lacking accountability, saying little is known about its educational quality or the middleman groups that can withhold 20 percent of the money.

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the bill over Wolf's objections amid budget discussions. Just four Democrats voted for it.

It would have nearly doubled the Educational Improvement Tax Credit to $210 million annually. The program effectively lets corporations and business people direct tens of millions in tax dollars to favored private and religious schools.