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Youth Gubernatorial Forum

Youth Gubernatorial Forum LogoElementary School Students Pose Their Questions to Pennsylvania’s Candidates for Governor

Governors are elected by the people of a state to serve as the head of its government with many responsibilities

A basic goal of a governor is to make his or her state a great place for its citizens to live. Elementary school students are a unique population of PA residents with some very interesting views on how to make their state great as well as how to make their school experiences great.

On October 10, 2018, The Rendell Center combined these interests through a Youth Gubernatorial Forum, prefacing Pennsylvania’s upcoming election for governor. Elementary students were invited share their ideas live with candidates PA Governor Tom Wolf and challenger Scott Wagner, and in a pre-recorded format with candidate Paul Glover. Here are the selected questions presented to the gubernatorial candidates:

Question 1 – From the Robert B. Pollack Elementary School, Philadelphia

What will you do to make sure that funding is available to build homeless shelters and provide other resources to prevent homelessness throughout our state?

Question 2 – From the Anne Frank Elementary School, Philadelphia

You have many responsibilities as a potential governor. You want us to invest in YOU as a governor, but our question is, what are YOU going to invest in us?  Specifically, we are concerned about problems with bullying and safety inside and outside of our schools?

Question 3 – From Edwin M. Stanton Elementary School, Philadelphia

At our school, we have drills that prepare us for a threat in the place where we learn. We have seen school shootings happen in so many schools across the country and worry that our school could be next.  What ideas do you have that could help us to feel less afraid and safer in our schools?

Question 4 – From Cynwyd Elementary School, Lower Merion School District

How can you ensure a fair distribution of funding for schools, especially make sure that all students have a safe comfortable enriching learning environment?  Some schools do not have enough supplies, access to technology, air conditioning and buildings that meet safety codes. We want equal learning experiences and excellence in education in PA.

Question 5 – From Fox Chapel School District, Pittsburgh

Students and Teachers are concerned that standardized tests are taking away from genuinely learning valuable material. How could you change this?

Group of 2 African-Americanstudents address the candidate with a questionPA Governor Tom Wolf addresses the forum audience

Group of 3 students address the candidate with a questionGubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner addresses the forum audienceYoung Asian female school studentForum Moderator address audiencePhiladelphia School Superintendent Hite stands at the forum podiumFormer Governor Ed Rendell is interviewed by a member of the media

Photos: Courtesy of the Annenberg Public Policy Center

See additional photos from the event

Questions were chosen from all of those that were submitted through our call for questions campaign. To learn more about the work we are doing to engage our youngest citizens in civics-focused experiences, feel free to contact the Rendell Center at 215-746-6336, or email Beth Specker, Executive Director at bspecker@rendellcenter.org.