We need strong public schools to ensure a full economic recovery; shortchanging our future workforce is the last thing we want to do when the economy is just beginning to bounce back. Investments in public education are working; PA has shown student achievement improvements in every subject and grade level tested in the past several years. These cuts risk losing ground on that progress. Every $1 spent on early education yields $7 in savings – including reduced costs of crime, drug use and teen parenting. This budget gives an increase to prisons but cuts education, and that does not make sense. Before cutting education legislators need to ask corporation to pay their fair share like the rest of us. We need to tax natural gas extraction and smokeless tobacco, like every other state.
Funding public education in Philadelphia is necessary for the survival of the city. Schools will open in the fall without new books, paper, clubs, counselors, librarians, assistant principals, nurses, psychologists, or secretaries. Athletics, art, and music will be gone. There were close to 3,800 layoffs announced on June 7th, including every assistant principal and 676 teachers. Class size will increase and schools will have no supportive staff. The importance of supportive staff is highly unrecognized. They are sometimes the backbone of the schools and without those individuals, many schools cannot run. Fund our schools and save our future.
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