Welcome to the back-to-school installment of Broad + Liberty’s Candidate Spotlight Series! Each week, we reach out to candidates all across the Commonwealth up for election to public office — an equal number of Democrats and Republicans; incumbents and challengers. We ask one question per week about public policy pressing to you. Those who choose to respond will have their answers shared on our website every Wednesday through Sunday.
Yesterday, Pennsylvania’s nominees for Governor discussed school choice. Today, their running mates weigh in.
If you are a candidate for public office in Pennsylvania and would like to participate in our series, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s question: What are your thoughts on the Lifeline Scholarship Bill, which would provide students in the bottom 15% of the commonwealth’s lowest performing public schools with almost $7,000 in scholarship funds? Do you consider yourself a proponent of school choice?
Austin Davis (D), Running with Josh Shapiro
I know how important education is in creating opportunities for our children to succeed. I’m the proud product of the McKeesport public school system and my parents worked extremely hard to put my sister and I through college, and to ensure that we became first-generation college graduates.
Josh and I will make improving our education system a priority in Harrisburg and ensure that every child has access to a quality education here in the Commonwealth. We will fully fund our schools, put parents on the Board of Education, end our reliance on standardized tests, put a mental health counselor in every single school, and invest in vocational, technical, and computer training.
We will make sure that young people see a path forward, whether that’s going to college, joining a union, or going right into the workforce. We will ensure that young people have multiple opportunities to succeed and parents have choices about that education right here in our Commonwealth.
Carrie Lewis DelRosso (R), Running with Doug Mastriano
As a mom of three kids, I can tell you that no two children are alike, and each child has unique learning needs. I’m a proud co-sponsor of the Lifeline Scholarship Bill because I believe every child, regardless of zip code, deserves access to an excellent education that meets their unique needs. Parents — not the government — know what’s best for their children, whether that’s a traditional public school, public cyber or charter school, private or parochial school, home school, or other learning environment.
It’s time we remember that the purpose of education funding is to fund education, not systems that can never be expected to meet every child’s needs. Allowing education funds to follow students and giving families options is essential if we want to ensure every child has access to a quality education.
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One thought on “Lieutenant Governor Candidate Spotlight: School Choice”
Kudos to DelRusso for answering the question. Shame on Davis for dodging the issue. Interestingly enough Shapiro’s answer to this same question indicated that he was in favor of the Lifeline Scholarships. Maybe the two Democrats disagree, or maybe they need to communicate better. Oh, and by the way, Mastriano didn’t answer the question at all. A continuing disappointment.