Praise for the winners and optimistic glances to the future figured in the fallout from last week’s victories by Josh Shapiro in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race and John Fetterman for a seat in the U.S. Senate.
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Luke Bernstein and Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) president Rich Askey extended congratulations and extolled the virtues of both men in the aftermath of the Midterm elections.
“The PA Chamber congratulates Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro, Senator-Elect John Fetterman, and all candidates elected to serve Pennsylvania at the state and federal levels,” Bernstein said in a statement. “We look forward to working together to move Pennsylvania and our nation forward. This election featured spirited contests across the Commonwealth, with law passionate supporters advocating for their cause and preferred candidates.”
Bernstein said that while Harrisburg has a divided government, Democrats and Republicans have demonstrated a willingness to cross the aisle for a common good.
“We proved through the recent Corporate Net Income tax reduction and other bipartisan initiatives, that Republicans and Democrats can come together and tackle big issues. The PA Chamber looks forward to leading the way to foster that spirit of working together.”
Askey offered his congratulations to Shapiro and Fetterman on behalf of the 177,000 educators he represents as PSEA’s president and in a statement, pledged “to work with them to make Pennsylvania’s public schools the very best that they can be.”
He noted that the Gov.-elect has long supported public education and Pennsylvania students. “We look forward to working with him and the Legislature to ensure our students continue to have the tools they need to succeed.”
“Just as important, we know that John Fetterman will be a strong voice for public education in the U.S. Senate and will advocate for federal support for programs that work for our public school students and the educators and support professionals who teach and serve them.”
Askey said that addressing crisis-level staffing shortages in Pennsylvania’s public schools is a major issue awaiting the new governor. He added that Shapiro has shown himself to be “committed to continued investments in education and to working in partnership with educators, school teachers, and families to identify strategies to recruit and retain a new generation of teachers and support professionals.”
Shapiro’s strong showing on Election Day makes it clear, Askey remarked, that Pennsylvanians are not interested in cutting billions of dollars in public school funding and redirecting it to voucher schemes. He stated that such ideas would dismantle public schools in their communities.
“Shapiro is very focused on ideas that work in public education,” said Askey. “Throughout the campaign, Shapiro has promised to reduce the time students spend on standardized tests, keep our schools safe, and expand access to vocational, technical, and computer training as well as other academic and extracurricular activities.”
Many students are struggling with mental and emotional health issues and Shapiro recognizes that, Askey noted. Shapiro is expected to take measures so that every Pennsylvania school has at least one mental health professional so that children and youths needing help can obtain it.