Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Advocate! If you don’t speak up, then you surrender the policy debate.

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Students in Chester walk out of classes to protest funding cuts

CHESTER – About 35 Chester Upland high school students walked out of classes Tuesday morning and marched two miles to the district administration building, where they attended a press conference hosted by the NAACP protesting state education funding cuts.

House Gives Bipartisan Stamp of Approval to Charter Bill HR 2218

 Alyson Klein   | 
The U.S. House of Representatives took what has become a rare step today: It passed an education bill (HR 2218) with broad bipartisan support. The vote, on charter school legislation, was an overwhelming vote of 365 to 54 —but there was still a lot of drama behind the scenes.

Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, September 13, 2011
As the recession took its toll last year, more Americans fell into poverty, saw their incomes decline and joined the ranks of the uninsured, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2010, the poverty rate increased to 15.1%, the highest level since 1993.

Becoming a Better Advocate

American School Board Journal, September 2011 By Del Stover
The power of local school board members speaking out is nothing to dismiss.
"When school board members meet with their state legislators or members of Congress, it's [usually] a meeting of elected official to elected official," says Michael Resnick, associate executive director of NSBA's Office of Advocacy and Public Policy. "The board member is speaking for the public at large ... They do not have a vested personal interest in the school system as much a vested interest in the education of children. They bring a level of credibility to any policy debate."
… the end, it's up to individual board members to decide that their voices need to be heard. If you don't speak up, then you surrender the policy debate to those voices pushing flawed ideas -- and adding to the negative perceptions of public education.

Local schools talk of state budget impact

By Kari Andren, TRIBUNE-REVIEW, Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Kari Andren can be reached at or 724-850-2856.
Municipal and school officials painted a bleak picture for state lawmakers on Tuesday of crowded classrooms, buckling roads and struggling hospitals following deep cuts in state funding in this year's budget.
School district superintendents testified before the state House Democratic Policy Committee during a hearing at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus that some of their middle and high school classes have as many as 35 students. They can't afford to buy enough computers or to update textbooks. They've consolidated sports teams and trimmed student programs.

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