Despite travel advisories and howling winds, over 250 people came out in a snow storm on Saturday, February 11th to Rally for Public Education. Protesting state budget cuts of $1 BILLION last year — and the Governor’s proposal to slash another $100 MILLION from public education this year — rally participants chanted “Some cuts don’t heal! Keep public education real!”
Six students from around Southwestern Pennsylvania spoke eloquently about how these cuts are devastating their schools and their futures. Click on these links to hear clips of the students’ talks:
- Tia Torres, Senior at University Prep (a Pittsburgh Public School in the Hill District)
- Arthur Mueller, Sophomore at Pittsburgh Allderdice
- Arts Greenhouse students
- Christine Chirdon, Sophomore at Shaler School District
- Jordan Montgomery, Junior at Pittsburgh CAPA
Many local legislators came to hear their message, including state representatives Dan Frankel and Joe Preston, and city councilmen Bill Petudo and Patrick Dowd. Both the Post-Gazette and the Tribune Review carried good articles, with photos, about the Rally. And we had radio coverage and were on KDKA evening news.
This Rally was just the start. The budget now goes into a negotiation process that will last all the way through June, so we have to keep the pressure on our legislators for the next several months. The good news is that we have a strategy and we are not alone. Check out our action plan: what can you do this week? Can you help plan activities for the next state-wide call-in day on March 5th? We are talking with other grassroots organizations around the state about having “rolling protests” so that a group from some part of Pennsylvania is in Harrisburg every week this spring focusing on public education. Please let us know how you can help using the form below, or join the conversation on our Facebook page.