shapiro bungles budget lifeline scholarships

Governor Shapiro bungles budget, leaves state uncertain and kids trapped in failing schools

Harrisburg, Pa., July 6, 2023 – Gov. Josh Shapiro justified his promise to line-item veto the education reforms he championed by comparing Lifeline Scholarships for children in failing schools to “small ball.”   

  In response, Commonwealth Foundation’s Senior Vice President Nate Benefield released the following statement:  

  “Pennsylvania needs a strong leader, capable of working with his own party to fulfill his promise to voters. Governor Shapiro not only broke his agreement with Senate Republicans, he’s now trying to throw them under the bus alongside 250,000 kids trapped in failing schools across Pennsylvania. Despite all of his finger-pointing, Shapiro is right about one thing: the budget still needs to be completed. If Shapiro is willing to step up as the leader of his party, a clear path remains for the kids in desperate need of Lifeline Scholarships.” 

   “I am unwilling to engage in the small ball,” Shapiro said Thursday afternoon in reference to Lifeline Scholarships. He further attempted to minimize his role in steering the first budget negotiations between the GOP-controlled Senate and the Democratic House, saying, “In the end, we could not reach agreement among all three parties.”  

Benefield added: 

  “It’s disappointing that Shapiro is now dismissing his own promise on Lifeline Scholarships as ‘small ball,’ showing a careless disregard for the families in urgent need of alternatives to failing and unsafe schools.”   

  Benefield is available to discuss budget negotiations, Lifeline Scholarships, as well as potential Senate maneuvers that could be used to restore education reform to the budget.   


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