April 27, 2012
Dear Friends –
Over the past several months, you’ve contacted my office regarding a range of issues. Today, I’m urging you to stand with me in support of perhaps the most important cause – our future.
As you may know, Governor Corbett has again called for massive cuts to all levels of public education in next year’s budget. In total, the governor, has proposed slashing more than $500 million from public education, including more than $200 million from community colleges and institutes of higher education.
Given the our economy is still recovering, I believe that our government, just like businesses and families across the Commonwealth, must do some belt-tightening. However, this budget does not spread the fiscal sacrifice equally. Rather, public education is again square in the cross hairs for funding reductions – reductions that will put funding for public schools back to 2005 levels. At a time when we are beginning to see the first signs of economic recovery, we should be looking forward and investing in public education, not putting it on the chopping block.
That is why I am asking you to join me for the Rally in Support of Public Education on Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. on the steps of the Chester County Courthouse (corner of High and Market Streets) in West Chester. The event, being organized in conjunction with the Chester County Coalition for Public Education, is your opportunity to stand up for public education and will take place rain or shine.
Last year, many schools districts dipped into their reserves to make ends meet. In others, teachers took voluntary pay freezes. This year’s proposed budget cuts would put schools further behind as they do not account for non-discretionary spending increases and inflation. In addition, many school districts are, for the first time, asking students and families to pay activity fees for sports, music and arts programs.
Finally, please remember that the proposed funding cuts would not only translate into still larger class sizes, fewer programs and teacher layoffs in our schools – they would also result in real estate property tax increases for local residents and homeowners. While the governor continues to wave the “no tax” flag, in reality, his budget proposal merely passes the tax burden to the local level.
This issue affects every Pennsylvanian – from current students and their families, to teachers and professors, to retired homeowners, to high school seniors and prospective college students. I urge you to join me on May 3 and make your voice heard! After all, this not just a rally for education, it’s a rally for our future.
Finally, please help me spread the word about the rally by circulating this e-mail to your friends. We must stand together to ensure that our message is loud and clear!
Offices of State
Senator Andy Dinniman