HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – President Donald Trump called out Pennsylvania’s governor in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, accusing him of hurting school choice.
Trump announced an opportunity scholarship for Janiyah Davis, a fourth-grader from Philadelphia. The scholarship will provide tuition assistance so Davis can afford to attend a charter school, which her family feels is the best option for her future.
“But last year, that future was put further out of reach when Pennsylvania’s governor vetoed legislation to expand school choice to 50,000 children,” Trump said during his speech.
Wolf vetoed House Bill 800, legislation sponsored by House Speaker Mike Turzai. The measure would have expanded by $100 million the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, which incentivizes businesses to donate to scholarship programs.
”It was, I think, financially irresponsible. It was basically a raid on the taxpayer for private schools, and I didn’t think that was fair. So, yeah, I did veto that,” Wolf said.
In the 2019-20 state budget, the EITC program was given a more modest $25 million increase.
“I understand he was trying to score some points. There was some posturing going on there,” Wolf said. “But if you actually look at what I did, I increased EITC funding.”
Trump is urging Congress to pass the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, a $5 billion annual tax credit for donations to state-based scholarship funds that allow kids a chance to attend the school of their choice.