This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Republican gubernatorial nominee Scott Wagner released an attack ad Wednesday ripping Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf over education policy.
The ad contends that Wolf plans to rip money away from rural school districts in order to favor Philadelphia — which the Wolf campaign says is a complete falsehood.
It’s the latest ripple in a wave started a month ago by Wolf’s remarks at a Philadelphia news conference that have surged to the forefront of the education debate in this year’s election.
On June 29, the governor appeared at a Philadelphia public school to announce money that his administration had set aside for lead remediation in the wake of a series of damning media reports.
During a question and answer session, Keystone Crossroads asked Wolf whether this sort of one-shot emergency funding was evidence that the state should act more consistently toward needy districts.
Within Wolf’s answer, he said:
“Yes, we need a fair funding formula for all dollars going into public education.”
Keystone Crossroads asked a follow-up question to clarify: So you think all the state basic education money should be run through the fair funding formula?
Again, here’s what Wolf said:
“Do I think that? Yes. Yeah. Yes.”
This might sound wonky, but it’s a big deal.