Saturday, April 21, 2012

Education Voters PA Endorsements for the 2012 Pennsylvania Primary


Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1500 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, members of the press and a broad array of education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

These daily emails are archived at http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

REMEMBER TO VOTE! TUESDAY, APRIL 24th

Tuesday, April 24 is Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania.

Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. Click here to find your polling place. During the Primary, registered members of the Republican and Democrat parties are eligible to vote to nominate the candidates that will represent their party on the ballot in the November General Election. ALL voters will be required to show a photo ID before voting at a polling place in the November 2012 Election. Click here for more information on the new Voter ID law.


Teach the Books, Touch the Heart

New York Times Opinion Published: April 20, 2012
By CLAIRE NEEDELL HOLLANDER, An English teacher at a public middle school in Manhattan.
FRANZ KAFKA wrote that “a book must be the ax for the frozen sea inside us.” I once shared this quotation with a class of seventh graders, and it didn’t seem to require any explanation.
……Of course no teacher disputes the necessity of being able to read for information. But if literature has no place in these tests, and if preparation for the tests becomes the sole goal of education, then the reading of literature will go out of fashion in our schools.

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012
Philadelphia Citypaper by Daniel Denvir

Democrat backed by anti-abortion rich people sends pro-choice mailer decrying GOP “war on women”

Things are getting even weirder than normal in Philadelphia politics: conservative hedge-fund managers and corporate heirs are, as we've reported (here andhere), spending big to support pro-school-voucher candidates and attack opponents. 
This week things just took a turn for the straight-up outer-space bizarre: Dick and Betsy DeVos, the right-wing Amway heirs behind millions of dollars of pro-voucher campaign donations, are funding what appears to be a purpose-made front of a PAC, which in turn is behind a militantly pro-choice mailer sent out in support of Fatimah Muhammad's campaign against lead voucher opponent and state Rep. Jim Roebuck in West Philadelphia's 188th district.
The DeVos family, again, is pretty right-wing―and they have also donated big-time to anti-abortion organizations.

Education Voters PA Endorsements for the 2012 Pennsylvania Primary
Education Voters Pennsylvania is an independent public interest organization that advocates for public education and pushes for action to improve all schools in Pennsylvania.  We work to increase the focus on education issues, promote a more robust dialogue with elected officials and voters about the issues and hold leaders accountable for taking action to address the issues. 
Below is a list of candidates for the 2012 primary race that Education Voters is endorsing.  Education Voters did not make endorsements in all races, choosing to focus on a small list of districts, targeting resources.
  • Erin Molchany (HD-22)
  • Shauna D’Alessandro (HD-39)
  • State Representative Duane Milne (HD-167)
  • State Representative Babette Josephs (HD-182)
  • State Representative Jim Roebuck (HD-188)
  • State Senate Pat Vance (SD-31)

"If your intent is to financially starve school districts in order to force consolidations and reduce the number of public educators, keep in mind, you are also risking an entire generation of students."

Troy school board president writes letter to governor

The Daily Review by Eric Hrin Published: April 20, 2012
TROY - As school districts struggle with the uncertainty of state funding, one board president has decided to speak out.  During the last school board meeting, Troy Area School Board President Todd Curren read a letter he wrote to Gov. Tom Corbett.
Curren said the letter was regarding remarks that he said Corbett made on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT on the "Dom Giordano Program."

Budget secretary Charles Zogby explains budget to mostly receptive West Shore Chamber of Commerce audience

Published: Friday, April 20, 2012, 1:41 PM
Cumberland Valley School District superintendent William Harner wasn’t expecting good news about the budget when he went to hear Pennsylvania budget secretary Charles Zogby speak to the West Shore Chamber of Commerce Friday morning. And he didn’t get any.
But he still appreciates that Zogby “probably has one of the toughest jobs in the state.”
“I had no false expectations,” he said. “But I was glad to hear the depth of his perspective.”

Published Online: April 20, 2012
ALEC: Controversial Policy Group Casts Long K-12 Shadow
Education Week By Andrew Ujifusa
In nearly 40 years of legislative advocacy, the American Legislative Exchange Council—a free-market, limited-government group now drawing intense scrutiny for its support of a controversial self-defense law—has had a significant influence in K-12 education through its model legislation and work with state lawmakers to promote such policies as private school vouchers and “parent trigger” laws.

STATEWIDE PRESS COVERAGE OF SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGETS
Here are more than 400 articles since January 23rd detailing budget cuts, program cuts, staffing cuts and tax increases being discussed by local school districts
The PA House Democratic Caucus has been tracking daily press coverage on school district budgets statewide:

http://www.pahouse.com/school_funding_2011cuts.asp?utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=http%3a%2f%2fwww.pahouse.com%2fschool_funding_2011cuts.asp&utm_campaign=Crisis+in+Public+Education

 

Stand Up for Public Education!
East Penn Education Forum on April 25th 7:00 – 9:00 pm
What’s at Stake?  Discover how high-stakes testing and funding cuts are impacting our kids and schools.
Hosted by: East Penn Invested Citizens (EPIC), Salisbury Parent Advisory, Allentown Parent Groups and a coalition of Lehigh Valley Parents
Where: East Penn Administration Building School Board Meeting Room, 800 Pine Street, Emmaus

Has your board considered this draft resolution yet?

PSBA Sample Board Resolution regarding the budget

Please consider bringing this sample resolution to the members of your board.

http://www.psba.org/issues-advocacy/issues-research/state-budget/Budget_resolution-02212012.doc


PA Partnerships for Children – Take action on the Governor’s Budget
The governor’s budget plan cuts funding for proven programs like Child Care Works, Keystone STARS and the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship program, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program. These are among the most cost-effective investments we can make in education.  Gov. Corbett’s budget plan also runs counter to a pledge he made when he ran for governor in 2010. He acknowledged the benefits of early childhood education and promised to increase funding to double the number of children who would benefit from early learning opportunities.
We need your help to tell lawmakers: if you cut these programs – you close the door to early learning! Click here to tell your state legislators to fund early childhood education programs at the same level they approved for this year’s budget.

Education Voters PA – Take action on the Governor’s Budget
The Governor’s proposal starts the process, but it isn’t all decided: our legislators can play an important role in standing up for our priorities.  Last year, public outcry helped prevent nearly $300 million in additional cuts.  We heard from the Governor, and we know where he stands.  Now, we need to ask our legislators: what is your position on supporting our schools?

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