Tag Archives: PA Constitution

Schools, Parents Sue Pennsylvania Over ‘Educational Caste System’

by Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams, 11/11/14

‘How are kids supposed to pass the tests required to graduate high school, find a job and contribute to our economy if their schools are starving for resources?’

Six school districts, seven parents, and two statewide associations sued the commonwealth of Pennsylvania on Monday, claiming legislative leaders, state education officials, and the governor have failed to uphold the state’s constitutional obligation to provide a system of public education that gives all children the resources they need to meet state-imposed academic standards and “participate meaningfully in the economic, civic, and social life of their communities.”…

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Filed under Education and schools, schools

Does Representation Matter to Me?

by Amanda Holt, 3/8/12

Why care about representation? It seems like an obscure issue, far removed from the everyday life of citizens. The reality is that representation stands at the core of our liberty, closely intertwined into our daily activities. A journey back in time emphasizes this reality.

It is the early 1770s. The cry, “Taxation without representation” is fanning the flame of independence in the Colonies. Many believe it is wrong for a people to be taxed without having any say in the matter.

Eventually, the Colonies sever all ties with England and form a new government based on a representative society, with careful checks and balances incorporated within the system to avoid any one person or group gaining too much power.

In Pennsylvania’s first Constitution, the ground work was laid for equal representation that was both proportional to population and based on political subdivisions (Chapter 2 Sect 17). Citizens were elected by counties and cities to represent the interests of their constituents. They were to be “persons most noted for wisdom and virtue” (Chapter 2 Section 7) who gave constant regard to the point:

“That a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles, and a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, industry, and frugality are absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty, and keep a government free” (Chapter 1 Right 14).

Everyone wants to enjoy the blessings of liberty, but few make the connection to representation. At the most basic level, if a person cares about their taxes, they should follow in the steps of our founders and care about who is speaking on their behalf in the state capital.

Many other issues addressed at a state level touch close to home – like education, roads, and safety. When Pennsylvanians gather to discuss these state issues, who will speak on your behalf?

The boundaries of districts (determined by redistricting) define how you will be represented. Will your community be given a united voice or fragmented into little pieces and left with the effect of having no say?…

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Filed under Election rights and laws, History