This report was published in response to a House Resolution sponsored by Representatives Ivan Itkin (D-Allegheny) and John M. Perzel (R-Philadelphia). The resolution addressed the problems faced by disadvantaged children in unsettled living arrangements and the concerns of parents earning poverty level incomes with regard to educational opportunities for those children.
The report found that a voluntary residential education program for children in poor families who now go to school in the nineteen most crime-ridden districts would be greatly beneficial. The proposed program will allow eligible students in grades seven through ten to voluntarily leave unsafe family, community and school situations in favor of a residential school offering the comprehensive care, services and educational opportunities the students need and deserve.
House Democratic Whip Ivan Itkin, who chaired the working group of educators assembled to assist the Legislature, also said "All Pennsylvanians should support residential education because it's a chance for kids to escape crime-ridden streets, to a place where their value as people is measured in learning and achievement. In the long run, that makes them truly productive members of society."
The program may cost about $10 million to serve up to 540 students. These funds will come from the school districts, the Commonwealth, private foundations and corporations.