JAY-Z’s Roc Nation Faces Backlash For Supporting School Voucher Program In PA

Roc Nation, the company founded by JAY-Z, announced a new educational campaign in Philadelphia. The company committed to securing $300 million in scholarships for low-income students to attend private schools in the area.

“We have enjoyed such a special connection with Philadelphians, so we’ve made it our mission to invest in the long-term success of the city’s changemakers,” Roc Nation Managing Director of Philanthropy Dania Diaz said. 

Diaz continued, “Impact starts with the students and with awareness. We want to empower the youth and families with the knowledge to pursue their scholastic dreams, make their voices heard and become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Additionally, Roc Nation will support the passage of the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success legislation (Senate Bill 757). The PASS program will reportedly provide varying scholarship amounts through government funding.

Critics insist PASS diverts needed public school funds to private schools. Politicians and journalists claimed the Roc Nation-backed program is a Republican plan to damage the public school system.

The 1619 Project Writer Nikole Hannah-Jones Denounces JAY-Z & Roc Nation

Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones informed her followers to “read the fine print” of the PASS legislation. The 1619 Project writer subtly condemned billionaire mogul JAY-Z by calling out “rich, out-of-touch folks” entering the education world.

“All of the money is coming from taxpayers, ie. the government. Roc Nation is not funding this, it is just launching an educational campaign that maybe it is being paid to do. I’m researching. But certainly, it’s involvement is to convince poor Black parents to leave the public schools,” Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote on X.

She also posted, “It is a lie that these programs do not take from public-school funding. Fewer kids in the classroom means fewer dollars to the school. This is a windfall to the city’s private schools at the expense of the public ones that most kids attend.”

Plus, Pennsylvania Rep. Summer Lee tweeted, “This ain’t it. The answer to the inequity plaguing our PA public schools is not a celebrity campaign for a GOP proposal to take public dollars to send a few “lucky” kids to private schools. The answer is to make sure our public schools are actually properly funded.”