Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Addresses Criticism For Supporting Republican-Backed Private School Plan: ‘Anyone Claiming Our Interest Is Political Is Political’


Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Addresses Criticism For Supporting Republican-Backed Private School Plan: ‘Anyone Claiming Our Interest Is Political Is Political’

Roc Nation is standing ten toes down behind its latest venture.

News recently broke that Jay-Z and his label Roc Nation are spearheading an educational campaign in Philadelphia that aims to help K-12 students from low-income households secure $300 million in scholarships to attend private schools. At first glance, the initiative sounds praiseworthy, however, it wasn’t long until internet users realized the effort might not be as good as it seems.

According to reports, the plan is also being pushed by many Republicans, including billionaire conservative, Trump supporter Jeff Yass, who allegedly has a reputation of being anti-public school.

Jeff Yass

Critics of the voucher program — dubbed the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS), — argue that it has a “goal to take resources away from public schools and instead divert them and deplete an already underdeveloped statewide school system,” according to a report from The Root.  In addition, some reports note teachers’ unions feel the state should instead invest in its under-resourced/funded public schools.


Philadelphia City Councilmember Kendra Brooks recently said on the issue,

“I want people and parents to know the truth, that vouchers put public money in the pockets of rich while draining resources from public schools and our communities.”

Brooks added,

“I don’t give a d*mn what Jay-Z said, or Meek Mill. I am a Philadelphia public school parent with proud children, nieces, and grandchildren who attend Philadelphia public schools from K to 12.”

Meek Mill

Following the backlash from many, Roc Nation released a statement explaining its side of things. In part, the lengthy post said,

“At the end of the day, Roc Nation’s advocacy is centered around children and their right to seek the best options for quality education. If PASS scholarship legislation is approved, the initiative would empower parents and caretakers to evaluate multiple school programs and make informed scholastic decisions for the well-being of their children.”

The statement continued,

“Roc Nation’s passion for the PASS legislation is solely predicated on educational concerns for the children of the poorest zip codes in Pennsylvania. Anyone claiming our interest is political is political. If anyone would like to propose a more immediate solution, then we are all ears and would love nothing more than an opportunity to discuss. Until then, voting against PASS scholarships is the equivalent of telling Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable students that they must remain captive to a system that is not working for them.”

And added,

“We are passionate about this issue because we have a personal connection with several communities across Pennsylvania. From organizing Made in America Festivals in Philadelphia to collaborating with REFORM Alliance on transformative statewide probation and parole bills, we have spent a significant amount of time in Pennsylvania over the years and truly care for its resilient residents.”

What are your thoughts on this entire situation? Tell us in the comments below!


Authored by: Twila-Amoure McDaniel