Last week two more terrific letters-to-the-editor appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – and this time from areas we haven’t heard from before. This is further evidence that our movement is growing and people are paying attention. Keep up the networking! That is how we will win this battle. And if anyone knows Esther Rankin out in Ambridge (Beaver County, $13.5 million in cuts) or Steve Rechichar in Monessen (Westmoreland County, $23.4 million in cuts), give them a hearty welcome to Yinzer Nation!
Citizens Tapped Out
Thursday, March 22, 2012
“Stop the School Cuts” (Feb. 28 Perspectives) by Pennsylvania State Education Association president Michael Crossey is an op-ed every Pennsylvanian should read.
I am the grandmother of seven children who live here in Pennsylvania, and I’ll have 10 grandkids living here by the beginning of the new school year. Nine of them will be educated in Pennsylvania’s public schools as of September. The last thing that I want to see is another state budget that decimates our public education funding.
My son, a parent of three children, received a list of school supplies that he is asked to provide for his children’s schooling. I expected that the list consisted of pencils, backpacks and the like. I was shocked to learn that this list included items like hand sanitizer for the classroom. My grandkids are now in schools that cannot even afford all the basic cleaning supplies they need.
Along with being a concerned grandmother, I am a former art instructor. When education funding is slashed, children too often lose school programs like art and music. For example, the drama class at my granddaughter’s school was wiped out. Consequently, children are being deprived of opportunities to engage their creativity, develop innovative abilities and cope with stress healthily.
Children have made enough sacrifices, parents have paid for enough school expenses and local property owners have seen enough property tax increases. We need to demand that our legislators finally require the only group not kicking in enough — corporations — to pay their fair share of taxes.
Corbett’s Chief Concern Should be the People of PA
Friday, March 23, 2012
In response to the budget references in “Poll Finds Corbett Job Approval Rating Down” (March 16): I would like to note that The New York Times reported recently that a nationwide survey of teachers, parents and students indicates that teacher morale is lower than it has been in many years. This is a direct result of the coast-to-coast budget cutting and constant criticism that undermines the profession’s integrity.
I myself had excellent teachers. The daughter of a friend of mine is a teacher at the Monessen Elementary Center. She is idealistic, committed to excellence and gives 200 percent every day. She and her colleagues deserve our whole-hearted support.
With regard to Pennsylvania’s budget, my own evaluation leads me to conclude that Marcellus Shale operations truly should be taxed and that the Delaware corporate tax loophole should be closed. Education and social services would benefit immensely from the hundreds of millions of dollars thus added to the state’s coffers.
President Calvin Coolidge once famously said that “the chief business of the American people is business.” I’ve always disagreed with that. The chief business of the American people should be the health and well-being of the people.