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A closer look at Wolf and Wagner’s sparring about education

A PAC that donated to Wagner has ties to Betsy DeVos. School funding and possible district mergers have also come up.

Gov. Wolf (left) and Scott Wagner (Emma Lee/WHYY)

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Gov. Wolf and his challenger in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race, Scott Wagner, have continued to trade barbs over education policy.

Wolf has hit his opponent twice in recent weeks, first by connecting Wagner, a former state senator, to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has been a lightning rod for criticism.

The Wagner-DeVos connection comes through a $1 million donation to Wagner’s campaign by Students First PAC. Students First, Wagner’s most generous contributor over the summer, has a long history of supporting candidates who favor school-choice measures such as charter schools and vouchers. The PAC is a partner organization of the American Federation for Children, a school-choice advocacy organization once chaired by DeVos.

President Trump’s nomination of DeVos for the cabinet post drew fierce opposition, particularly from teachers’ unions, a key Democratic constituency. Soon after the most recent campaign filings, Wolf’s camp seized on the DeVos connection in a press release about “DeVos’s dark money group.”

Read of the rest of this story at WHYY News

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