On Wednesday, June 13th, hundreds of parents, children and laid-off teachers from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia protested in Harrisburg over cuts to public education. Here’s The Inquirer on the protest and what these cuts will entail:
In February, Gov. Corbett proposed essentially flat-funding basic education aid, and eliminating a $100 million program widely used to fund full-day kindergarten. School districts have yet to recover from last year’s hit, when aid shrank by $860 million, leading to as many as 14,000 layoffs of teachers, staff and administrators statewide, according to union and school officials, along with reductions in music, language, arts, and sports programs, and local tax increases. So far this year the financially beleaguered Philadelphia district has made several rounds of layoffs — the most recent trimming 260 teachers and aides.
The Pittsburgh public school district is in the process of closing four more elementary schools and two high schools, and it has sent provisional layoff notices to 285 teachers. Middle and high school students are being shuffled around and their class sizes are growing, lowering the quality of their education and disrupting the building of a strong and stable community among their teachers and peers.
If you believe in the importance of public education, if you believe that the leadership in Harrisburg does not have their priorities straight, please sign the petition here to tell them to stop dismantling public education by cutting school budgets. This petition will be delivered to State Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), State Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Phila./Montgomery), State Senator Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware), State Senator Joseph Scarnati (R-Jefferso), and Governor Tom Corbett. They had a goal of reaching 10,000 signatures by today, but that’s been raised to 15,000. Please sign now and help them meet that goal today!
You can also stay on top of this issue by joining the Education Voters of PA (Western PA) Facebook group here.