Media favorite flip-flops on school choice in Pennsylvania

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

Josh Shapiro, the first-term governor of Pennsylvania, was considered a rising star in the Democratic Party when he took office this past January. But a recent public misstep could end up costing him a future run for president.

When push came to shove, Shapiro announced that he would veto a $100 million allotment in Pennsylvania’s budget for the commonwealth’s scholarship program, called the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success. Colloquially, the scholarship program is called a “lifeline scholarship” to help students in poor neighborhoods to access better-quality schools.

The Republican-majority state Senate included the scholarship program in their budget and criticized Shapiro’s veto announcement because he had previously indicated that he would keep the scholarship budget intact.

The Daily Signal pointed out that Shapiro’s campaign site in September 2022 said that Shapiro was in favor of “adding choices for parents and educational opportunity for students and funding lifeline scholarships like those approved in other states and introduced in Pennsylvania.”

Shapiro also campaigned on the issue of allowing school choice for Pennsylvania’s students. He said, on the campaign trail, “It’s what I believe.”

To make the hypocrisy stand out even more, it is well-known that Shapiro sent his children to private schools and that his campaign received political donations from teachers’ unions (which unions oppose school choice measures).

The media views Shapiro as a future presidential candidate for the Democrats, which would be the 2024 presidential race or beyond. For example, Politico listed Shapiro as a prominent member of the Democratic Party’s presidential candidates-in-waiting in January 2023 alongside Maryland’s new governor Wes Moore.

But his public flip-flop on school choice could doom his White House ambitions before he completes his first year of his first term as governor.