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Critics Blast Jay-Z’s Philadelphia School Voucher Campaign

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation announced Friday it will lead a campaign aimed at promoting a new school voucher program for Philadelphia-area students in grades K-12 from low-income households.

The entertainment company will host several events in the Philadelphia area in June seeking to inform residents about the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS), a Republican-backed Senate bill also known as the lifeline scholarship program that aims to provide “low-income students in low-performing schools with scholarships to attend the school of their choice.”

“We have enjoyed such a special connection with Philadelphians, so we’ve made it our mission to invest in the long-term success of the city’s changemakers,” Dania Diaz, Roc Nation managing director of philanthropy, said in a statement. “Impact starts with the students and with awareness. We want to empower the youth and families with the knowledge to pursue their scholastic dreams, make their voices heard and become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Several headlines claimed that Jay-Z and Roc Nation were rolling out a $300 million scholarship for students. That’s not correct — this is a taxpayer-funded program, and Roc Nation is hosting events to lobby support for the bill. Senate Bill 757 is at the center of a fierce fight in the Pennsylvania Capitol as the budget deadline of June 30 nears, and Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro has voiced support for vouchers.

It’s pitched as another avenue for low-income students to pursue schooling that might otherwise not be affordable. However, critics claim the campaign is just another attempt to gut public education by diverting funding from public schools.

“This ain’t it. The answer to the inequity plaguing our PA public schools is not a

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