By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer

HARRISBURG – Six days after Philadelphia native Tom Corbett was sworn in to office as the 46th governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, he declared Jan. 24-29 Pennsylvania School Choice Week to complement National School Choice Week efforts and activities.

“Every child in Pennsylvania deserves a challenging, motivating, effective education,” Corbett said in the proclamation he issued Monday, Jan. 24.

“School choice isn’t about choosing one model over another. It’s about giving families the freedom to choose the school – public, private, charter, religious, secular – that will help their children learn and grow.

“Every child is different,” Corbett continued, “which is why families should have a range of options for how to educate their children.” {{more}}

In his proclamation, Corbett described education reform as an issue that transcends ideology and political party affiliation.

“Research demonstrates conclusively that providing children with multiple schooling options improves academic performance,” the governor’s proclamation said.

Corbett also referenced school choice reform in his inaugural address Jan. 18 outside the Capitol Building in Harrisburg.

“Today, our students compete not only with those from the other 49 states, but with students from around the world. Our education system must contend with other nations and so we must embrace innovation, competition and choice in our education system.”

Bucks County native and former Bucks County Commissioner Jim Cawley, a 1987 alumnus of Bishop Egan High School in Levittown, was sworn in as the commonwealth’s 32nd lieutenant governor.

He and wife Suzanne are the parents of a son, Nicholas.

Cawley earned a law degree and bachelor’s degree in political science from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Corbett was born June 17, 1949 in Philadelphia.

He was baptized at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in the Overbrook section of the city. He graduated from St. Mary of the Assumption School in Glenshaw, Pa. in 1963 and from Shaler High School, also in Glenshaw, in 1967.

Corbett and wife Susan, a convert to Catholicism, are the parents of two grown children, Kate Corbett Gibson and Tom Corbett, both of whom attended Catholic school.

For more information about school choice, visit the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference web site at

CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at 215-587-2468 or