Sunday, April 17, 2011

Educators and communities should say no to Corbett education cuts.

State Department of Education spokesman Steve Weitzman was quoted as saying, “The presumption of steady, unbroken revenue increases year after year no longer is feasible. The day of reckoning has come.” What exactly does he mean by the day of reckoning?

Well it has nothing to do with actually spending less on education. Yes, the Corbett administration plans on cutting $589 million dollars from public school appropriations. And these cuts are going to devastate local school budgets. However, between maintaining the worthless PSSA system and implementing a set of new initiatives, the Corbett administration may end up actually spending close to $1 billion dollars.

The Corbett administration supports funding a voucher system that has been demonstrated (across the country) to not raise achievement test scores and ends up costing taxpayers more money, developing a grading system for public schools that may decrease property values, implementing the Keystone exams that national research has shown adds nothing to a child’s education, and creating a merit pay system for teachers that will end up narrowing the curriculum and ending teacher collaboration. Therefore Corbett’s plans for public schools will end up costing taxpayers more than the $589 million dollar cut.

Schools and communities need to speak up. Local schools are making significant cuts to programs that benefit children and the communities they serve. But why should they if the Corbett administration plans on actually spending more on it’s own politically driven initiatives that are specifically designed to destroy the public school system? I guess the “day of reckoning” is really facing the fact that this administration is going forward with a market-driven reform strategy that will destroy local community schools.

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