Schoolmageddon ’13: Education Advocates Storm Harrisburg for the Start of the Fall Legislative Session
State legislators are back in office for the fall session today, and they can expect to be met by what’s become the most feared special interest group in all of politics: education advocates. As per the picketers:
“The Pennsylvania Legislature is returning to work — and fixing the issue of school funding does not appear to be on their priority list and yet it’s a top priority for the people of Pennsylvania,” said Susan Gobreski, head of the advocacy group Education Voters of Pennsylvania. “So the focus is around making it clear that we believe they have work to do and that this needs to be a priority.”
That education reform for the state is not a priority seems self-evident, given the $304 million budget deficit the Philadelphia School District alone is facing. The 3,000 employees laid off from the school system can attest to that.
Small budget increases aside, the deep cuts enacted over the past two years have left schools even further in the hole. A hole that began, by the way, because funding hasn’t been allocated properly, leaving poorer schools facing larger budget cuts due to reliance on the state government.
Meanwhile, legislators chase Tom Corbett’s legislative tail. Which, of course, is why they need a reminder now and again. So, here it is: little help, guys? We’re drowning out here. [Newsworks]