As we learned last week, Governor Corbett has no intention of restoring funding to public education in the budget he will soon release. But our efforts to fight this crisis are definitely starting to have an effect. Here are several pieces of good news:
- Yesterday, Yinzer Nation rallied for the statewide call-in day coordinated by our friends at Education Voters PA. Hundreds of parents and community members from Southwestern Pennsylvania participated in sidewalk events at local schools and in house parties, generating several hundred phone calls to the Governor and legislators! Channel 11, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Tribune Review all covered the action. We are getting noticed and making our voices heard.
- The PA House Democratic Caucus is getting focused on public education: Their legislative review, released yesterday, looks at the “Crisis in Public Education;” they are tracking media coverage of public education around the state on their website; and on Tuesday they filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of students in the Chester Upland School District (the poster-child for the consequences of state budget cuts to public schools). We know public education is not a partisan issue, but we are encouraged that some of our legislative leaders are starting to hear our message.
- Judy Wertheimer, a Taylor Allderdice parent, will have an op-ed piece on public education funding in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this coming Sunday.
- A group will be meeting with Representative Frankel in his Pittsburgh office tomorrow. Frankel is a supporter of public education, but the group’s message to him is: “We need you to be our champion, and we have your back!” We also want to know what he feels we can be doing to be most effective during the budget negotiation process. Meeting in person with our legislators is a great strategy and something we can all be doing.
Keep up the good work! It is having an impact and our legislators are starting to take notice.