When you are taking on a giant like the Pennsylvania education budget crisis it is easy to get discouraged. To feel like you are one voice shouting in the wind. But the fact is that people all over the state really care about public education and are fighting these devastating budget cuts. We are not alone. And when we band together, we are strong indeed.
When we Rally for Public Education tomorrow morning, we will be joining a growing state-wide movement of parents, students, teachers, and concerned community members who are passionate about their schools. Here is just a quick sampling of what is going on to keep you inspired:
- On Tuesday, when the Governor announced his proposed budget, One Pittsburgh took a busload of people to Harrisburg to protest. They were joined by groups from Philadelphia and crowded into the halls of the capitol building wearing t-shirts that read, “Whose side are you on?”
- Yesterday, communities in Chester and Montgomery counties rallied at the Downington East High School in Exton, PA. They invited their friends from Bucks, Berks, Lehigh and Delaware counties, saying, “Public education has come under increasing attack in Harrisburg and it is time for the citizens of [our] counties to stand up and protect our schools both here and throughout Pennsylvania.”
- On Valentine’s Day this coming Tuesday, students from Pittsburgh’s A+ Schools Teen Bloc program will be traveling to Harrisburg inviting Gov. Corbett to “Fall Back in Love with Education.” (Isn’t that a great message?) They will be taking the large banner we will all be signing at our Rally tomorrow and will be joined by students from the Philly Student Union.
- These students have also made a fantastic short video. Check it out and feel free to share it. Kids who care about their schools are inspiring!
- Later this month here in Yinzer Nation, South Fayette High School will be kicking off a partnership with the Pennsylvania State Education Association called Partners for Public Education. On February 29th, “State Senator Wayne Fontana, State Representative Jesse White, PSEA President Mike Crossey, along with members of the SFEA Representative Council, SF School Board, SF Administration, and SF Student Government will stand together to … add their voices to the chorus of those who care about public education.”
- Education Matters in the Cumberland Valley, a grassroots group in central Pennsylvania much like our own Yinzercation community, is hosting its second annual Bake Sale to Save Public Education at the State Capitol on April 9th. Last year, this group figured out how many cookies we would have to sell to close the budget gap in every single school district across the state and used this astonishing Bake Sale metaphor to hammer home the point that our schools simply cannot afford these cuts.
- And on April 12th the North Hills School Directors Association (a consortium of 9 school districts) and Ed Voters PA will host a North Hills Public Education Forum. (This is in Rep. Mike Turzai’s district — he is a crucial legislator in this budget battle.)
We have many friends across the state fighting this fight and together we are making our voices heard. Attending the Rally for Public Education is probably the single most important thing you can do this week for our schools. Please plan to be there and keep spreading the word!