This week we’ve had several reminders that action works. When we work together, we make change happen.
On Monday, Pittsburgh Public School superintendent Dr. Linda Lane announced that she is recommending only one school closing right now: Woolslair K-5 in Lawrenceville/Bloomfield. [Post-Gazette, 11-4-13] We had been expecting to hear a much longer list of proposed closings. And though the district assures us that list will be forthcoming in the new year – when the new school board is seated – the delay is very much a “win” for all of us. Pittsburgh students deserve a plan with real vision to improve all schools and we don’t have that yet (proposals announced Monday included mowing the grass and shoveling the snow less often to save money – which is not exactly what we had in mind).
On Tuesday, Pittsburgh formally elected Bill Peduto as Mayor. This is a huge win for public education. [See “Pittsburgh is Lucky” for our endorsement back in the spring.] Mr. Peduto has already signaled that his administration will work much more closely with the school district to find solutions that help students, families, and Pittsburgh neighborhoods. For instance, he’s thinking about how the city might shift some revenues back to the district, which has lost almost $84 million in earned income tax over the past decade after the state legislature forced a change to favor the then-sinking city. [Post-Gazette, 11-3-13]
On Wednesday, Gov. Corbett came to town to kick off his re-election campaign and discovered public education advocates ready to “greet” him. Outside the Governor’s press event at the Heinz History Center, speakers said it was time to make Corbett himself history, calling him “One Term Tom.” The “people’s moving van” showed up with signs suggesting it was time to send Corbett packing, due to the harm he has caused our schools.
Now it’s Thursday and it’s time for more action. Tonight you can be a part of the PIIN town hall meeting with over 1,000 people who will get commitments from our public officials on several critical social justice issues, including public education. Join us from 7-8:30PM at Rodef Shalom in Oakland. Action works. Acting together makes things happen.