Yinzers care about public education. We know that public schools are a public good. But Pennsylvania schools are now missing $2.3 BILLION due to historic state budget cuts in 2011. Those cuts continue to have a devastating impact on our schools in Southwestern PA since they were carried forward in the 2012 and 2013 budgets as well. The de-funding of our public schools has gone hand in hand with a national “corporate-style-reform” movement that pushes a damaging agenda of privatization, competition, choice, high-stakes-testing, and school closures – all disproportionately affecting our poorest students and communities of color.
The good news is that people across the state – middle class and working class, black and white, Republican and Democratic, young and old – are coming together and fighting back. Our grassroots movement of public education advocates successfully prevented Governor Corbett from slashing another $100 million from our schools in 2012. This was a huge achievement! We have also won several policy battles directly impacting equity in public education.
Join us – we are all volunteers – parents, students, teachers, and concerned community members working together to save our schools. We are committed to great schools for all students, with adequate, equitable, and sustainable public funding for public education. Use the resources we’ve gathered on this site, get educated on the issues, get inspired to act, and get out there talking to your friends about public schools in Pennsylvania. Because this is about our most valuable resource: our children’s future.
Here’s what else we’ve done lately:
- Helped found Great Public Schools (GPS) Pittsburgh, a coalition of community, faith, and labor groups working together in the city.
- Pittsburgh area parents joined the growing Opt Out movement protesting high-stakes-testing and went viral after publishing an Op-Ed piece in the local paper, gaining national media coverage.
- Over 320 people Rallied for Public Education at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in February.
- Our Manchester Miracle inspired thousands of people all over the world to fill empty library shelves, keeping the focus on equity in our schools.
- Every major news outlet in Southwest PA covered our last day of school Candlelight Vigil protesting the loss of 285 Pittsburgh teachers due to the state budget cuts
- Yinzercation launched a social media firestorm when “Arts Education an Operatic Tragedy” went viral, garnering national press coverage, and hundreds of people attended an Operatic Rally protesting the Governor’s gutting of public arts education programs.
- In April 2012, over 650 people participated in three “Mock Bake Sales” sending the message to our legislators that we can’t sell enough cookies in Pennsylvania to make up for these crippling budget cuts
- In February 2012, over 250 people braved a snowstorm to Rally for Public Education, getting our legislators’ attention.
- Check out our strategy: we are connected to others around the state and are seeing progress!
- The White House has even taken notice, twice inviting Yinzercation founder Jessie Ramey to meet with President Obama’s senior policy advisers (see “What I Told the White House” and “The Elephant at the White House“)
Together we are Yinzer Nation and we proudly support our public schools.