Trump gives scholarship to Philly 4th grader during State of the Union address

Mike Dougherty
February 05, 2020 - 7:16 am
Stephanie and Janiyah Davis are applauded as they sit in the First Lady's box as President Donald J. Trump delivers the State of the Union address from the House chamber of the United States Capitol in Washington.

Jack Gruber/USA TODAY

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — President Donald Trump invited several guests to Tuesday night's State of the Union address. During a portion of his speech about school choice, he singled out a Philadelphia mother and her daughter sitting in the congressional gallery, surprising the little girl with a scholarship.

Saying no parents should have to send their kids to failing schools, the president highlighted school choice programs in 18 states, including Pennsylvania.

"The programs are so popular that tens of thousands of students remain on a waiting list. One of those students is Janiyah Davis, a 4th grader from Philadelphia," he said.

She stood up with her mother, Stephanie, as the president announced that her wait was over.


"An opportunity scholarship has become available," he said. "It's going to you. And you will soon be heading to the school of your choice."

He then asked Congress to pass the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, which he says would extend school choice to a million other families.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf last year vetoed a bill to expand on Pennsylvania's program because, as he said at the time, public schools are "structurally deteriorating, contaminated by lead, and staffed by teachers who are not appropriately paid and overstretched in their responsibilities. Tackling these challenges, and others, should be the collective priority."