Taking Pennsylvania's Education into the future
Written by Matt Moore (University of Pittsburgh) as part of our Students for Shapiro series.
While education in Pennsylvania has made great strides, we still have so much further to go.
Josh Shapiro approaches education policy with both heart and mind. His wholehearted plan to fully fund our public schools, support our teachers, make critical investments in infrastructure, and explore all paths to success for students can and will chart a new path forward for our Commonwealth.
As a student of both private elementary school and public high school, I have been on both sides of the fence in the education battle. Josh understands that while there shouldn’t be a false choice–our public schools must come first. Our taxpayer dollars must be used as the critical investment that they are in our Commonwealth’s kids. He also uniquely understands, and takes into account, the potential roles of faith and vocation in a family’s education story.
While studying Politics, Philosophy, & Economics at the University of Pittsburgh, I have taken a particular interest in public policy. In a public writing seminar during my junior year, the policy issue I chose to research, study, and write about over the course of the semester was education. I zeroed in on my alma mater, New Castle High School, as a case study for what is and what isn’t working in our high schools to prepare youth for not only jobs, but fulfilling lifelong careers. I interviewed my former administrators and teachers at length about what can be done to better student outcomes in a town like New Castle, Pennsylvania where far too many have been left out and left behind. I researched career and technical education and workforce development programs across the state, popping up on a one-by-one basis. I am beyond excited that Josh has made it his mission to expand job skills training programs and vocational training to high school students and graduates, so students have access to opportunities for their career development in high school. As Governor, he will also propose the creation of an Independent Office of Workforce Development that will strategize long-term workforce development from high school onward. This is the innovation in education and economic development that Pennsylvania needs.
I cherish the impact my hometown educators had on me and care about the social and economic longevity of my community. Josh Shapiro’s education, economy, and jobs plans go hand-in-hand for a reason: he understands the power that our schools and teachers have in shaping kids for the rest of their lives. He understands that we do not need to have a robust economy at the expense of quality education. Interconnected policies and passions like these will have positive ripple effects for Pennsylvania’s small towns, communities, and neighborhoods alike. Josh Shapiro has committed to building a Pennsylvania that fully educates and supports everyone, no matter their background or zip code.