Pennsylvania elected a Democrat as its new governor, Josh Shapiro, the former state attorney general. During his campaign against the Trumper candidate Doug Mastriano, Shapiro campaigned as a centrist Democrat and won handily. One worrisome detail is that Gov.-Elect Shapiro endorsed vouchers, despite their widespread failure and their affiliation with hardcore rightwingers. It is therefore somewhat reassuring that he selected an experienced education as the state superintendent. This article was republished by the Keystone Center for Charter Change of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

Pa. is getting a new education secretary: Lower Merion superintendent Khalid Mumin

Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, January 9, 2023

Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro has named Khalid Mumin, currently superintendent of the Lower Merion School District, as his education secretary. Mumin, a Philadelphia native, has led the Montgomery County district for a little over a year. He came to Lower Merion from Reading, where he was named Pennsylvania’s Superintendent of the Year in 2021.

“During the past 15 months, I have grown to love Lower Merion, our inspiring students, exemplary staff, committed families and community members; however, Gov.-elect Shapiro has offered me a unique and exciting opportunity to reshape educational policy and practices across the Commonwealth, so all Pennsylvania students can experience the level of educational excellence our students enjoy and that all students deserve,” Mumin said in a letter to the Lower Merion community. The Secretary of Education job, he said, “was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

Mumin is scheduled to be sworn in as Acting Secretary of Education on Jan. 17. “For over 25 years, I have served as a teacher, dean of students, principal, and school superintendent — and I know firsthand what it takes to move our education system forward,” Mumin said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the Gov.-Elect to fully fund our schools, make our students’ mental health a priority, and empower parents and guardians to ensure their children receive a quality education.”

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Though he currently runs one of the state’s best-funded school systems, Mumin has extensive experience in low-wealth districts, too. Prior to working in Lower Merion, Mumin was superintendent of Reading city schools, where he worked for six years. He also served as an administrator in Maryland.

We will keep a watchful eye on Governor Shapiro, as he chooses whether to fully find the state’s public schools or to waste money on vouchers to satisfy a campaign donor.