For Senator Dinniman, education has been a lifelong passion.
“I’ve always felt that the learning experience – being in the classroom, sharing in an academic conversation and seeing those sparks of interest take hold – is an invigorating one,” said Dinniman, a former West Chester University professor. “And that our schools are not mere public institutions, but sacred pillars of democracy. They represent one of the purest and most fundamental values of our nation – the ability to improve and enlighten oneself in a place where knowledge is readily available.”
As a former school board member and current minority chair of the Senate Education Committee, Dinniman also knows that education makes up one of the largest appropriations in the state budget. It’s absolutely imperative that we ensure that our tax dollars are spent on quality education for all of our students. After all, education is the driving force behind developing fields and new job opportunities. In these uncertain economic times it is crucial that we continue to support effective educational initiatives and programs
In the Senate, Dinniman has led various initiatives to ensure quality education programs and reduce the cost of education.
Dinniman is a strong supporter of Keystone STARS, a state program that promotes quality early learning environments through research-based performance standards that address staff qualifications and professional development, educational programs, partnerships with family and community, and leadership and management.
Dinniman is also working to relieve school districts of costly, outdated and unnecessary mandates that take focus away from learning. He has introduced Senate Bill 442, legislation that calls for exempting school leaders from continuing education requirements if their school or school district makes Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) or shows growth under the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System (PVAAS) for three consecutive years.
Dinniman has also led the charge to end the partisan election of school board candidates. Under his Senate Bill 443 school board elections would only occur at the November general election and no longer be part of the spring primary election. In addition, party affiliation would not be listed on the ballot and the number of signatures that candidates need to get on the ballot would be determined by the size of the school district.
Pennsylvania is rich in natural resources, but our greatest resources are the young people who will lead us into the future. We simply cannot continue to throw money into an educational system that leaves so many behind. Rather, we must continue to explore and promote the best education methods and learning practices and incorporate them here in the Commonwealth.