Jay-Z just enraged Pennsylvania Democrats with his move to help poor kids

One thing that leftists count on during every election cycle is solid support from teachers’ unions.

But those same unions often fail public school kids and outsiders are attempting to work around them.

Now, Jay-Z just enraged Pennsylvania Democrats with his move to help poor kids.

If you happen to be a student enrolled in one of Philadelphia’s public schools, you’re in a rough spot.

That’s because, by any measure, the deck is stacked against you.

The city’s school district and the teachers in the district’s employ simply aren’t preparing kids for a successful adulthood.

Recently, twenty-six of the nation’s large city school districts took part in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA), a special assessment of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The NAEP is a national, centralized test that is more difficult than any state test.

The post-pandemic test measured the reading and math skills of fourth and eighth graders at 5,190 public schools.

Philadelphia ranked fifth from the bottom among 26 districts in fourth-grade math and reading, sixth-worst in eighth-grade math, and seventh-worst in eighth-grade reading.

While the city’s schools held the same relative position compared to other cities in 2019 when the last test was conducted, overall scores are now lower.

A new plan to give students a chance to succeed

Rapper Jay-Z, named the greatest rapper of all time by Billboard and Vibe in 2023, has pledged to do something for many of these students caught up in the failing system.

The rapper’s group Roc Nation is funding a campaign this month to drum up support for the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success.

This is a legislative proposal that aims to spend taxpayer money on private school scholarships for low-income families in neighborhoods with low-achieving schools.

Roc Nation Managing Director of Philanthropy Dania Diaz said, “We have enjoyed such a special connection with Philadelphians, so we’ve made it our mission to invest in the long-term success of the city’s changemakers.”

The voucher proposal that Jay-Z and Commonwealth Action are pushing would give low-income families whose children attend “low-achieving” schools up to $15,000 to pay for private school tuition and fees.

Teachers unions with ties to Democrats frequently express outrage at the idea of these vouchers because they represent a threat of a loss of funding to the public school system.

If the voucher system is shown to work, there could be a stampede of parents taking their children out of public schools with a history of failure.

Teachers’ Unions hate the idea

As a demonstration of the power that these groups wield, Pennsylvania’s Democrat Governor Josh Shapiro initially supported a Republican-backed proposal last year to send $100 million to families for private school tuition and school supplies.

But he was later forced to back down amid major opposition to the proposal from powerful Democrats.

Predictably, the AFT Pennsylvania teachers union said on X of Jay-Z’s proposal, “This ain’t it,” over a photo of Jay-Z and Jeffrey Yass, a school choice advocate who is the biggest donor to Republican campaigns in Pennsylvania.

It remains to be seen how much headway Jay-Z and his organization can make on this issue, but it’s heartening to see that he’s ruffling all the right feathers.

Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story.

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