PA Students Tell the Governor: You’re Breaking Our Hearts with the Budget

On February 14, about 400 students and parents from around Pennsylvania descended on Harrisburg to send a message to Governor Corbett: budget cuts are breaking students’ hearts. Last year Governor Corbett cut nearly $1 billion from public education, and the results devastated nearly all of the 501 districts in the state. By maintaining the same level of unprecedented cuts to education funding, the Governor is carrying forward a plan that continues to harm school districts.

Mori Hitchcock, a high school senior from the Chester Upland School District, says, “We joined with students from around the state because this is not just happening to us. There are going to be more Chesters.” Secretary of Education Tomalis recently testified that there are an additional 10-15 school districts that will go bankrupt by the end of this year. The Governor’s 1,000-page budget does not include a plan to invest state funds in these districts, something that would be needed to keep schools’ doors from closing.

Philadelphia, Chester, Reading, and Pittsburgh students and parents converged on Harrisburg to not only send a message to the Governor but also to meet with the Department of Education and high ranking legislators to discuss the impacts of the cuts.

Last year, the Governor’s budget cuts disproportionately affected low-income districts with cuts as large as $29,000 per classroom, while other wealthier districts received cuts as low as $950 per classroom. At the same time that these cuts were devastating schools, Governor Corbett was increasing prison spending. Students asked the Governor to prioritize public education and fund districts based on need.

“What they need to see is how the decisions they make impact our ability to get a quality education,” says Baseerah Watson, a high school senior and member of the Philadelphia Student Union. “How can we afford to keep going at this level? Education is a human right and it should be funded that way.”

The Philadelphia Student Union, Project Peace (Reading PA), TeenBloc (Pittsburgh PA), JUNTOS, and the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools sponsored this rally.

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On February 14, about 400 students and parents from around Pennsylvania descended on Harrisburg to send a message to Governor Corbett: budget cuts are breaking students’ hearts. Last year Governor Corbett cut nearly $1 billion from public education, and the results devastated nearly all of the 501 districts in the state. By maintaining the same level of unprecedented cuts to education funding, the Governor is carrying forward a plan that continues to harm school districts.

Mori Hitchcock, a high school senior from the Chester Upland School District, says, “We joined with students from around the state because this is not just happening to us. There are going to be more Chesters.” Secretary of Education Tomalis recently testified that there are an additional 10-15 school districts that will go bankrupt by the end of this year. The Governor’s 1,000-page budget does not include a plan to invest state funds in these districts, something that would be needed to keep schools’ doors from closing.

Philadelphia, Chester, Reading, and Pittsburgh students and parents converged on Harrisburg to not only send a message to the Governor but also to meet with the Department of Education and high ranking legislators to discuss the impacts of the cuts.

Last year, the Governor’s budget cuts disproportionately affected low-income districts with cuts as large as $29,000 per classroom, while other wealthier districts received cuts as low as $950 per classroom. At the same time that these cuts were devastating schools, Governor Corbett was increasing prison spending. Students asked the Governor to prioritize public education and fund districts based on need.

“What they need to see is how the decisions they make impact our ability to get a quality education,” says Baseerah Watson, a high school senior and member of the Philadelphia Student Union. “How can we afford to keep going at this level? Education is a human right and it should be funded that way.”

The Philadelphia Student Union, Project Peace (Reading PA), TeenBloc (Pittsburgh PA), JUNTOS, and the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools sponsored this rally.

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On February 14, about 400 students and parents from around Pennsylvania descended on Harrisburg to send a message to Governor Corbett: budget cuts are breaking students’ hearts. Last year Governor Corbett cut nearly $1 billion from public education, and the results devastated nearly all of the 501 districts in the state. By maintaining the same level of unprecedented cuts to education funding, the Governor is carrying forward a plan that continues to harm school districts.

Mori Hitchcock, a high school senior from the Chester Upland School District, says, “We joined with students from around the state because this is not just happening to us. There are going to be more Chesters.” Secretary of Education Tomalis recently testified that there are an additional 10-15 school districts that will go bankrupt by the end of this year. The Governor’s 1,000-page budget does not include a plan to invest state funds in these districts, something that would be needed to keep schools’ doors from closing.

Philadelphia, Chester, Reading, and Pittsburgh students and parents converged on Harrisburg to not only send a message to the Governor but also to meet with the Department of Education and high ranking legislators to discuss the impacts of the cuts.

Last year, the Governor’s budget cuts disproportionately affected low-income districts with cuts as large as $29,000 per classroom, while other wealthier districts received cuts as low as $950 per classroom. At the same time that these cuts were devastating schools, Governor Corbett was increasing prison spending. Students asked the Governor to prioritize public education and fund districts based on need.

“What they need to see is how the decisions they make impact our ability to get a quality education,” says Baseerah Watson, a high school senior and member of the Philadelphia Student Union. “How can we afford to keep going at this level? Education is a human right and it should be funded that way.”

The Philadelphia Student Union, Project Peace (Reading PA), TeenBloc (Pittsburgh PA), JUNTOS, and the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools sponsored this rally.

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On February 14, about 400 students and parents from around Pennsylvania descended on Harrisburg to send a message to Governor Corbett: budget cuts are breaking students’ hearts. Last year Governor Corbett cut nearly $1 billion from public education, and the results devastated nearly all of the 501 districts in the state. By maintaining the same level of unprecedented cuts to education funding, the Governor is carrying forward a plan that continues to harm school districts.

Mori Hitchcock, a high school senior from the Chester Upland School District, says, “We joined with students from around the state because this is not just happening to us. There are going to be more Chesters.” Secretary of Education Tomalis recently testified that there are an additional 10-15 school districts that will go bankrupt by the end of this year. The Governor’s 1,000-page budget does not include a plan to invest state funds in these districts, something that would be needed to keep schools’ doors from closing.

Philadelphia, Chester, Reading, and Pittsburgh students and parents converged on Harrisburg to not only send a message to the Governor but also to meet with the Department of Education and high ranking legislators to discuss the impacts of the cuts.

Last year, the Governor’s budget cuts disproportionately affected low-income districts with cuts as large as $29,000 per classroom, while other wealthier districts received cuts as low as $950 per classroom. At the same time that these cuts were devastating schools, Governor Corbett was increasing prison spending. Students asked the Governor to prioritize public education and fund districts based on need.

“What they need to see is how the decisions they make impact our ability to get a quality education,” says Baseerah Watson, a high school senior and member of the Philadelphia Student Union. “How can we afford to keep going at this level? Education is a human right and it should be funded that way.”

The Philadelphia Student Union, Project Peace (Reading PA), TeenBloc (Pittsburgh PA), JUNTOS, and the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools sponsored this rally.

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