This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Perhaps no issue polls more consistently as the issue of greatest importance with Philadelphia voters than the problem of the city’s public schools.
On Wednesday, April 30, the four Democratic candidates vying to become Pennsylvania governor will be in the city for a forum dedicated to city and state education issues.
"The goal of the forum is to enable the candidates to articulate deep and well-thought-out positions on the fiscal and academic challenges of public education in Philadelphia and the state," stated a media advisory from the forum’s sponsors.
Those sponsors — the Committee of Seventy, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, and the Philadelphia Education Fund — decided that a forum focused entirely on public education issues would force in-depth discussions from the candidates and make them more accountable for any promises they make if one of them wins in November.
The free-but-sold-out forum will be held at the Free Library tomorrow from 6 to 8 p.m. Moderating the discussion is Daily News political columnist John Baer, who will have the discretion to interject if candidates evade a question or steer their responses to issues other than public education.
Those who won’t be able to attend can still watch by tuning in to Pennsylvania Cable Network, which will broadcast the event live. For Philadelphians, that’s Channel 186 on Comcast. The event will also be livestreamed and can be watched on PCN’s website.
The four Democratic gubernatorial candidates are Tom Wolf, a businessman and former state secretary of revenue, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, State Treasurer Rob McCord, and Katie McGinty, former state secretary of environmental protection.
The Democratic primary election will be held on May 20. Recent polling shows Wolf has a large lead over the rest of the candidates.