As part of its efforts to educate the Jewish community about candidates running for office and their positions, OU Advocacy-PA reached out to the candidates for governor with questions about education and more general issues. The Orthodox Union is a not-for-profit organization and does not endorse any candidate.
Do you agree/Disagree/Undecided that tax dollars for education should follow the child? As long as Pennsylvania taxes citizens for public education, children should be able to choose a public or private school for Kindergarten through 12th grade, as they can for higher education. Please elaborate.
Gov. Tom Corbett: I remain committed to improving the quality of every public school in the Commonwealth while ensuring that each family has the choice of the best high quality education option for their child.
Rob McCord: I believe public funds are best and most efficiently allocated directly to the school district, allowing districts to plan resources and staff accordingly based on projected enrollment and ensuring all students have access to an education. Private schools provide a measure of competition, which is entirely appropriate, but I do not believe public dollars should support those entities beyond current levels through programs like the EITC and OSTC program. This is just as is the case in higher education, where state-owned and affiliated universities tend to offer lower tuition rates than private universities, yet the state provides a measure of financial support (grants and subsidized loans) for students who enroll in the latter.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz: Disagree. While parents and families should absolutely have educational choices, I do not support school vouchers.
Tom Wolf: No, I disagree. Every child in the Commonwealth should have access to a high quality public education. Directing taxpayers’ dollars to private schools benefits a few while taking away needed resources from many. It also suggests that education is a private good and that we do not all have a shared responsibility to ensure that all students get a top-notch education.
As governor, I will work to strengthen our public education system so that every child, regardless of where he or she lives, has the same access to a great public school.