Monday, April 23, 2012
Moms 4 Education: The State of Public Education in the state of PA
In order to move towards a balanced budget in the state of PA, Governor Tom Corbet has cut funding to public schools across the state. School districts rely on that funding, and are now scrambling to meet their own budgets. In many cases. . .unsuccessfully.
What does all this mean for our children?
We all know how difficult it is to budget - especially in recent economic times. It's a constant struggle of give and take. Deciding what we can "do without" this month or this year. How do you decide what a school can do "without"? Healthy lunch choices? (our country faces a childhood obesity epidemic) Transportation? (there have been several school bus accidents in the local news lately) Gym? Art? Music?
Here's an interesting bit of data. . .according to several sources, it costs the state of PA approximately $30 million to administer the PSSAs. Money well spent? I don't know one parent (or teacher) that would say yes. There is talk of adding a new test - the Keystone Exam - this test is expected to cost another $100 million. Imagine if we cut up that $130 million and distributed it right to the school districts.
Many parents are stepping up and organizing. They are attending School Board meetings, joining the Parent-Teacher group, and creating Facebook groups to exchange information. They can see the writing on the wall - they know our children are at risk.
Is that what Governor Corbett and other politicians want for their grandchildren? Oh, they will probably go to private school because of the state of "public" education. (just like healthcare right? It's fine for the "general public" but not the government employees). It needs to stop now. Public education and programming is TOO important to EVERYONE'S future.
I am a strong believer in public education. I have the pleasure of knowing many dedicated teachers that have made educating children their life's work. They work tirelessly on their own time and with their own money - to give their students the best. And I applaud them and thank them from the bottom of my heart.
Let's get smart with school budgets. Let's stop blaming teacher's salaries. Let's look at duplicate and unnecessary administrator costs. Let's look at fees, maintenance costs and upkeep for things we no longer use or even have in the district. Can we get a better rate somewhere else? Are we sending full sized buses to pick up one child? With or without money from the state - we need to run our schools smarter.
There are ways to save money that don't take anything away from our kids or their educations. We need to work together to find them.
Be heard - VOTE - the PA Primary Elections are Tuesday, April 24th. Show up - let your voice be heard. Let them know that cuts to our future and our children's education WILL NOT be tolerated. I know it seems insurmountable and as if there is nothing we can do - but it's TOO important to sit back. It's our children . . .it's our future.
I'd love it if you would leave a comment including any good money savings ideas or other great things your school district has done in these tough times.
And please - make your voice heard - join us on Twitter with #heytomcorbett or contact Governor Corbett at:
P.O. Box 1145
Harrisburg, PA 17108
catch you soon -