This week, Governor Wolf answered hard hitting questions from fourth, fifth and sixth graders about education funding and school safety, among other issues, at the The Rendell Center’s Gubernatorial Forum – Capturing the Voice of the Student.
Students from Philadelphia’s E.M. Stanton Elementary, Anne Frank Elementary, and Pollock Elementary, Lower Merion’s Cynwyd Elementary, and Pittsburgh’s Fox Chapel School District asked the governor questions that they had written about important issues affecting their lives. Governor Wolf emphasized that he has fully restored Harrisburg Republicans’ $1 billion cut to education, created a School Safety Task Force and secured $60 million for funding school safety initiatives, launched his PASmart initiative to ensure that students are trained for the 21st century workforce, and reduced testing time.
The issue of school safety came up repeatedly during the forum. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Wolf said he would continue to listen to teachers, to implement the suggestions he heard from them in forums around the state held on school safety, and to offer grants for schools to improve safety.
“The state needs to invest enough money into education, and it needs to do so fairly, so that every student, no matter what ZIP code that student is in, gets a good education,” said Governor Wolf, when asked about how he will ensure that school funding is distributed fairly. Governor Wolf has also implemented a fair funding formula to take the politics out of education funding once and for all.
While Governor Wolf enjoyed engaging with the students and finding out what matters most to them, the students got a kick out of meeting the governor. According to WHYY, one Anne Frank Elementary School student remarked after the forum, “When Tom Wolf was answering the questions it was really cool. And when he shook our hand, it was really cool, too.”