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FUNDING FOR K-12 EDUCATION THREATENED BY GOVERNOR'S BUDGET PROPOSAL: Potential Cut of $1.1 Billion Hits Poorest School Districts in PA the Hardest
School districts across the state continue to grapple with tough budget decisions as the Governor’s proposed cuts loom heavy on all of them. But without question, the hardest hit will be those schools already struggling with current economic hardships. Additionally, schools across the state are making moves to address the impact. For example, Philadelphia has announced it will lose 3,820 jobs and no longer provide full-day kindergarten to close a $629 billion budget hole. Also, a school in Coatesville and a district near Pittsburgh are considering having a four-day school week. All of these steps chisel away at eight years of significant progress in education and stop our state from moving forward for our children.
It is easy to point to our statistics that show this success. But nothing shows it better than the faces and schools proving their advancements every day. Just this week, West Philadelphia High School received a national science grand prize award for their design and development of an electric car. You can read their story and find out more about the Conrad Awards here.
As we fight for higher levels of funding for the education of our children, I wanted to provide for you two interesting pieces that I had the good fortune to listen to on a drive back to Philadelphia from Harrisburg. They provide interesting perspectives and good information on what really works in the education of our children.
The first link is an interview with Former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch regarding No Child Left Behind, school vouchers and charter schools. http://www.npr.org/2011/04/28/135142895/ravitch-standardized-testing-undermines-teaching
In the second piece, we hear from Andrew Rotherham, co-founder of Bellwether Education, a nonprofit organization working to improve educational outcomes for low-income students. He discusses for charter schools, public sector choices and teacher accountability.http://www.npr.org/2011/04/28/135802562/rotherham-dont-discount-charter-school-model
We are closing in on the budget deadline of June 30. Many of you have made your voices heard, but now is not the time to slow down or stop. Continue to reach out to your Senator or Representative or even the Governor.
As always, you have my commitment to work for a fair budget and fight for our students and their families who are caught in the crosshairs of a budget battle.
For more information, please visit www.senatorhughes.com, and be sure to follow the Senator on Facebook and Twitter.
Offices of State
Senator Vincent Hughes