It’s June and Pennsylvania is starting to sound like a beehive on a sunny day, buzzing with public education activism.
In Philadelphia, grassroots public school advocates are pushing to restore a local, democratically elected school board after the state-imposed commission currently running the district passed a draconian budget, wiping out public education as we know it. The plan cuts 3,000 more employees (including teachers); completely eliminates counselors, librarians, and secretaries; provides only one nurse for every 1,500 students; and gets rid of athletics, music, and art. [Philly.com, 6-4-13] As Philly parents have pointed out, this is a plan to warehouse students, rather than educate them. [Philly.com, 6-2-13]
Meanwhile, in Allentown yesterday, public school advocates delivered a petition with hundreds of parent signatures protesting state budget cuts. Because of Governor Corbett’s massive de-funding of Pennsylvania’s public schools, Allentown has just proposed a plan to cut over 150 employees – nearly all teachers, and most of those in art, library, and physical education. As protestors marched past the Lehigh County Prison, one mother pointed at the building and observed that when students lose arts and extracurricular activities, “They wind up there.” [Lehigh Valley Live, 6-3-13]
Tonight in Shippensburg, our sister grassroots group Education Matters in the Cumberland Valley is hosting a rally to protest state budget cuts….
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