The following excerpts are from a message I received from elected officials in Harrisburg calling upon citizens to defend the Governor's education budget. I removed partisan references because I don't want to get caught up in a political battle. The important point here is that you should contact your State Senator, Tommy Tomlinson, and encourage him to reject the harsh cuts being proposed by some of our senators.
Most people agree that a strong education system means a stronger economy. Most people, that is, except for some Senate leaders who still refuse to budge from their plan that pushes state support of public education back to 2005 levels while our children are making progress.
Pennsylvania now leads the nation in student achievement gains because the state made a concerted effort in 2003 to increase funding for basic and early education programs and install reforms that ensure accountability. According to the latest analysis of statewide testing, test scores for students in every grade level have increased each year since 2002. Reading and math scores have increased at all grade levels for the first time in Pa. history.
Despite this success, some Senators continue to say 'NO' to education, taking state support of public education backwards and using federal stimulus funding specifically earmarked for improving schools to plug holes in the budget. Their logic is flawed; they say they want no new taxes, but reducing our investment in education will only increase property taxes at the local level. And, their ideology is dangerous to a generation of young people who will become our future workforce.
As our children get ready to start the school year, you can help in the fight to maintain the state's constitutional commitment to adequately fund public education.
Visit our online action center to contact your state senator and the leaders who are negotiating a final budget. Tell them to reject the harsh cuts proposed to state education investments and allow our children to achieve their fullest academic potential.
Learn more about state budget efforts at www.pahouse.com.