PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — School children grilled the candidates for Pennsylvania governor Wednesday ahead of the 2018 elections.
Democratic incumbent Tom Wolf and Republican challenger Scott Wagner fielded questions at Philadelphia School District headquarters.
The candidates were separated due to Wagner’s repeated calls for a second debate which have been declined by Wolf.
Wolf answered the students’ questions first and Wagner followed after.
The students asking the questions held nothing back.
“What are you going to do to invest in us?” one student asked.
Quality of education, safety, funding — the kids wanted to know about all of it.
Wolf, hoping to secure a second term, appeared first. A Democrat, Wolf says the state spent $60 million to study school safety.
“The goal is to, in fact, make sure that we have safe schools, and make sure and confident something bad isn’t going to happen to you,” says Wolf.
Wagner, the Republican, told students it starts with mutual respect.
“There also needs to be a security guard in each building,” Wagner tells students. “It is absolutely critical that you have the ability to go to school every day and be safe.”
Standardized testing came under fire from both candidates with the reality that districts spend an excessive amount of time “teaching to the test.”
“Teachers are frustrated by the testing because the teachers are also rated on how well you do,” Wagner says.
Wolf answered similarly to his opponent, focusing on his past efforts to change the standardized testing system.
“I’ve tried to liberate teachers to teach and one of the ways to do that is to use the time taken on these high-stakes tests,” Wolf explains.
Following the Q&A session with the 2018 gubernatorial candidates, there was time for pictures and even an Eagles chant.