Well, the man’s got nerve, I’ll give you that. Since kicking off his re-election bid here in Pittsburgh last month (see “A Week of Action”), Governor Corbett has been touring the state boldly campaigning on his record of – wait for it – education. Yes, the man who has slashed $2.4 billion and counting from public schools in the Commonwealth now thinks that voters will buy the idea that he actually supports public education. Incredibly, Gov. Corbett has been claiming in radio ads that he increased funding for our schools. [Politics PA, 11-17-13]
Tell that to students here who are missing $26.8 million from their annual budget. Just today, the Pittsburgh Public School district announced plans to address a resulting projected $46 million budget gap, including closing 5-10 more schools, decreasing the number of periods in high schools, combining grades in a single classroom, eliminating some sports, reducing yellow bus service, and much more. [PPS Whole Child report, 12-4-13] The Governor’s de-funding of Pittsburgh schools accounts for well over half (58%) of the district’s budget woes. His education cuts are not only hurting our kids, they are about to rip holes in our neighborhoods as we are forced to close more schools.
Governor Corbett is no dummy and certainly realizes that education is now voters’ #2 issue, just one point behind concerns over the economy. That’s way up from 2010, before he gutted school budgets, when a mere 4% of voters even ranked education on their list of top problems facing Pennsylvania. [See “What They Should be Saying”] Now with his lowest approval rating ever and 61% of those surveyed saying the state is “on the wrong track,” Gov. Corbett appears ready to make outrageous claims about his record.
It’s time to set that record straight. And Governor Corbett’s education report card is straight F’s. He has FAILED the students of Pennsylvania. Join parents, students, teachers and community members Monday at his downtown office (301 5th Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15219) to deliver his dismal report card. We will also have student performances and will be delivering your postcards from our Rally for Public Education earlier this year.
We will meet at 4PM to demand that Gov. Corbett restore full funding to public education and support a statewide fair funding formula for our schools. For more information and to RSVP, please see our Facebook event page.
Need a ride? We’ve got one for you: buses will depart from 10 S. 19th St. on the South Side (PFT parking lot) at 3:30 and 4:00 PM to take people downtown. A bus will also depart at 3PM from 5907 Penn Ave in East Liberty. All buses will take you back to their pickup location after the event is over.
This event is part of a National Day of Action, planned by education advocates all across the country. There will be grassroots actions in at least 36 cities! Yinzercation and our new coalition partners in Great Public Schools Pittsburgh have endorsed a national statement of principles that unite this national education justice movement. This is all very exciting, but it’s not a movement without you. Please plan to pop out of work if you’re downtown, or bring the kids after school and get on one of our buses. Join us on Monday to tell Governor Corbett what he’s really doing to public education.