State GOP senator gets heat for comments on minority students

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 21, 2017 12:00 PM

FILE PHOTO: Republican Senator John Eichelberger (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(Harrisburg) -- The chairman of the state Senate Education Committee is getting pushback from Democrats after saying minority students from "inner city" public schools would do better in vocational careers than in college.

Republican Senator John Eichelberger of Blair County said during a town hall last week that minority students are being pushed toward college and are dropping out. He says they'd succeed in a less-intensive track.

His comments were reported by the Carlisle Sentinel.

Eichelberger tells The Philadelphia Inquirer he blames failing urban school systems, not skin color, for minority students dropping out of college.

Democratic Senator Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia says Eichelberger should be removed from the committee chairmanship.

He says many minority students are victims of Pennsylvania's unfair school-funding system and some drop out of college because they can't afford it.

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