President Donald Trump promised Tuesday at his State of the Union address to give a Philadelphia fourth grader a scholarship that would allow her to attend a school of her choice. It turns out Trumps education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is going to pay for that scholarship out of her pocket.
An Education Department spokesperson told local news outlet Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos would directly provide a scholarship to Janiyah Davis, and her mother Stephanie, who were invited to Tuesdays presidential speech in Washington.
During his speech, the president introduced America to Janiyah, who has sought a way out of her low-performing public school through Pennsylvanias school-choice program, which provides tax credits to individuals and businesses in exchange for donating to scholarships for students to attend private schools.
“But last year, that future was put further out of reach when Pennsylvanias governor vetoed legislation to expand school choice to 50,000 children,” Trump said, referring to a 2019 Pennsylvania bill that would have expanded the states school-choice program by $100 million. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, vetoed the bill in favor of a more moderate expansion of the program reducing the funds available from $100 million to $25 million.
“Janiyah, I have some good news for you. Because I am pleased to inform you that your long wait is over,” Trump told the girl. “I can proudly announce tonight that an Opportunity Scholarship has become available, its going to you, and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice.”
Janiyah Davis is a 4th grade student who loves art and math, but for too long she has been assigned to low-performing schools.
Pennsylvanias governor recently vetoed school choice legislation, and Janiyah remains one of 50,000 students on a waitlist for tax credit scholarships. pic.twitter.com/rBM2XdXQOF
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 4, 2020