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Petitioning Governor Corbett and PA General Assembly

Fund our Schools


As we await the Governor’s budget address this Tuesday, we stand together as parents, community members, and representatives of organizations in Philadelphia that support public education.  We decry last year’s evisceration of state support for basic education in Pennsylvania, and we issue a call to the state legislature to restore funding and undo the damage.  For nine straight years, Pennsylvania advanced educationally with more students achieving proficiency in math and reading than ever. Over the last year, however, districts all over our commonwealth have struggled with cuts that increase class size, cut kindergarten, arts, music, and sports—cuts that threaten this progress.


We stand with the 70 percent of school districts statewide that have had to increase class sizes this year.  We stand with the students, parents, and teachers in districts such as Chester, York, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg where, with the withdrawal of appropriate state funding, schools are teetering on the edge of fiscal collapse, close to being unable to serve their students.  We stand with large districts, which have seen massive reductions in their teaching force, as well as in the numbers of school nurses and safety personnel.  We stand with smaller districts, such as Bethlehem, which had to eliminate 145 positions, decrease electives and preschool seats, and eliminate team teaching.  We stand with Susquehanna Community School District, which lost full day kindergarten.  We stand with Allentown, which was forced to eliminate high school electives, as well as art, music, and gym for elementary grades, contracting the curriculum beyond what most of us would recognize as an appropriate education for the next generation of Pennsylvanians. 


Surveying the damage that last year’s education budget has wrought, we ask the following questions:

·         Will Pennsylvania attract new jobs if students are not well prepared and if schools are not successful?

·         Will Pennsylvania choose to abandon rather than aid thousands of children living in financially struggling districts?

·         Will Pennsylvania force local communities to dig deeper and deeper into their pockets while ignoring its responsibility to fund schools? 

·         Will Pennsylvania ignore the history of systematic underfunding and commit to making further cuts?

·         Will Pennsylvania willingly walk away from nine straight years of academic growth of its children?

·         Will Pennsylvania ignore its constitutional responsibility to fund schools?

Funding public schools adequately is not charity; funding schools now is about preserving our democratic heritage and preparing for the future.  The majority of Pennsylvanians agree with us when we say no to budget cuts to public education.  Let us hope their legislators hear us.

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