lifeline scholarships

Sen. Ward sees momentum for Lifeline Scholarships despite union pressure, state house turmoil

Originally published at Broad + Liberty

Political figures are advancing unsustainable arguments about education, Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward, a Westmoreland County Republican, said in an interview. Wealthy politicians who send their own children to private schools while denying the same opportunity to low-income families have placed themselves in an untenable position with a growing number of constituents who favor school choice, she argues. But the senator also expressed concern that in Pennsylvania time is a factor for students who remain stuck in failing schools while reform efforts stall in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. 

Ward pointed to the example of Stacy Davis Gates, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, who received criticism for enrolling her child in a private school while opposing scholarship programs in Illinois that would enable poor residents to do the same. 

“When the union president pulled her son out of a public school and put him in a private school, she made all kinds of excuses and talked about how her son had to follow his dreams,” Ward said. “But she’s essentially telling others who don’t have the money to do this, that you have to leave your child in failing schools and let them stay there.” 

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