FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski
Pashinski, northeastern Pa. school supports rally for early education funding
HARRISBURG, June 13 – State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, and hundreds of public education supporters from northeastern Pennsylvania held a news conference and rally at the state Capitol today to oppose another year of deep school funding cuts proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett.
“The governor succeeded in forcing local property tax hikes and drastic cuts in local schools by cutting K-12 school funding by nearly $1 billion last year,” Pashinski said. “For an encore he wants to virtually eliminate state support for early education.”
For the second straight year the governor is proposing to eliminate Accountability Block Grant funding which helps schools provide pre-kindergarten, full-day kindergarten and smaller class sizes in the early grades. The legislature saved the grant program in the 2011-12 state budget, but funding was slashed from $250 million to $100 million.
“The governor frequently talks about failing schools, but abandoning the state’s commitment to early education is failing our young students,” Pashinski said.
Pashinski urged the legislature to support at least level funding for Accountability Block Grants and to adequately invest in public schools.
“While the governor is congratulating himself for these drastic cuts, the burden of paying for our public schools is being placed squarely on the shoulders of homeowners and small businesses. The governor is passing the buck to the locals.
“This school funding crisis is impacting everyone. Across the state many school districts are again preparing to cut programs that help students learn, make kids pay for sports, music and other activities and further increase class sizes.”
Pashinski noted that already six in 10 school districts have increased class sizes and an additional 1,000 layoffs have been announced after 14,000 public school jobs were lost last year. Nearly half of all school districts will be in financial distress within three years without additional revenue.
“The northeast has made a statement here today and the governor must be aware of the people’s dissatisfaction. His attacks on public education must stop. All students and homeowners deserve better from their state government.”