Fred­er­ick will sup­port Penn­syl­va­nia’s schools

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - OPINION -

To the Ed­i­tor:

The State of Penn­syl­va­nia, with the sup­port of the cur­rent Repub­li­can House and Se­nate, has en­acted dev­as­tat­ing cuts to pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion and other state pro­grams needed to serve Penn­syl­va­nia’s most vul­ner­a­ble cit­i­zens; $860 mil­lion was cut from ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing in 2011-12 and the Cor­bett Ad­min­is­tra­tion pro­posed cut­ting around $100 mil­lion from the cur­rent year’s sup­port.

Al­though the Leg­is­la­ture held this year’s fund­ing level the same as last year, the nearly $1 bil­lion cuts in 2011-12 continue to wreak havoc on Penn­syl­va­nia’s schools, caus­ing the elim­i­na­tion of pro­grams, fur­lough­ing of teach­ers and in­creases in class size.

The Cen­tral Bucks Dis­trict lost more than $2 mil­lion in ac­tual fund­ing and Pen­nridge’s fund­ing was re­duced more than $1 mil­lion for the same pe­riod. Al­though the fund­ing level for this year is the same as last year, more of the money had to go to in­creases in state-man­dated ar­eas like So­cial Se­cu­rity and pen­sions, leav­ing less money for aca­demic pro­grams.

A re­cent sur­vey by PA School Ad­min­is­tra­tors and Busi­ness Of­fi­cials demon­strated the fol­low­ing:

• Half of the re­spon­dents in­di­cated they will be in fi­nan­cial dis­tress within three years

• 75 per­cent will use re­serves to bal­ance this year’s bud­get

• 60 per­cent will in­crease class size

• 50 per­cent will de­lay text­book pur­chases

• 46 per­cent will trim or elim­i­nate field trips

• 37 per­cent will cut tu­tor­ing pro­grams

• 34 per­cent will elim­i­nate sum­mer school

• 19 per­cent are elim­i­nat­ing or re­duc­ing early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion and full-day kinder­garten

It’s time we elect state leg­is­la­tors who sup­port our pub­lic schools and those in our state who are the most vul­ner­a­ble. Un­less these is­sues are ad­dressed, not only will our lo­cal taxes in­crease, but our schools and lo­cal gov­ern­ments will continue to­ward fis­cal dis­tress in the years to come.

That’s why I’m sup­port­ing Joe Fred­er­ick for state Leg­is­la­ture. Melissa Rus­sell


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