Is Gov. Rendell “for the Kids” at All?

On Friday, the REACH Foundation hosted a rally at the state capitol in defense of Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit, which may be cut in this year’s budget deal.

One of the key arguments put forward in defense of the program was equity: we should treat children who attend private school no differently that those who attend government schools. Indeed, the speakers noted the inconsistency of Gov. Rendell’s insistence on a larger increase in funding for public schools, while at the same time working to reduce support for private school students.

As we wrote previously, if Gov. Rendell and lawmakers truly care about children, they would support increased school choice (not to mention repealing expensive mandates). But in a Morning Call article about Friday’s rally for school choice, the Rendell administration basically admits their interest is in the government school monopoly, and protecting the special interests who have supported their campaign, not in children:

Rendell spokesman Gary Tuma said the administration’s first priority is public education.

”When it’s financially feasible,” Tuma said, ”the state might provide help to families who choose other options.”