Under the Hat: The Information Fast Lane - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under the Hat: The Information Fast Lane

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Look, I'll be the first to applaud our information-in-an-instant abilities. As a guy who has spent his career relaying to people what's going on, it's hard not to get a little giddy thinking about the email blasts and text pushes that exist at our fingertips.

There are more ways than ever to get the story out and more ways to get it to you, the elusive viewer or listener or reader.

But, to quote the Spiderman franchise, with great power comes great responsibility, and sometimes the news cart can get pretty far ahead of the fact horse.

Case in point: Governor Tom Corbett's plan to use business tax credits to create a 40 million dollar pool of money that can be used by families in poorer performing schools to pay tuition at better schools.

In fairness, the media did little more than report the fact that the program had been approved in the new state budget that took effect July 1st.

In some cases the dollars could cover a student's full tuition; in other cases families might have to pay 10 or 15 percent of the costs but that would be at some of the area's most expensive private schools.

Of course a deal like that would create a lot of excitement for some families and soon the private schools, particularly the Catholic schools like Cathedral Prep and Mercyhurst Prep started getting phone calls.

Lots of them.

Here's the hitch. The program requires companies to donate to a fundraiser designated by an individual school and approved by the state. The company receives tax credits in return and the school gets the money which then determines how many qualified students a particular school might attract.

Because the money must be generated before it can be used, it's a process that takes months. Turns out there's no way a program like that approved in July would be ready for the start of school in September.

All those excited parents were told the same thing: Wait until next year.

It's nobody's fault really just a cautionary tale of life in today's information fast lane.

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