Originally published in Real Clear Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro could still be the first in his party to provide genuine school choice for his constituents.
Part of Shapiro’s original allure was his ability to think and act for himself. When, as a gubernatorial candidate, he expressed his support for Lifeline Scholarships, Shapiro captured the attention of voters and pundits alike. Bucking the Democratic Party’s orthodoxy, which explicitly rejects school choice in its platform, takes guts.
And Pennsylvanians rewarded Shapiro by voting him into office by a wide margin.
Shapiro was on track to be the first Democratic governor to sign a significant school-choice initiative into law. The $100 million appropriation for Lifeline Scholarships, called the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) Program in the 2023–24 budget, would provide students trapped in the commonwealth’s lowest-performing schools with education opportunity accounts (EOAs) for use on private tuition.
Instead, Shapiro did what we’ve grown accustomed to in modern politics: When the going gets tough, the not-so-tough take the path of least resistance.
Read more at Real Clear Pennsylvania.