Merski: Governor’s budget strong on education

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – Reacting to Gov. Tom Wolf’s address today, state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, expressed enthusiasm for aspects of the governor’s proposed 2019-20 budget, and particularly its focus on education.

“I was encouraged to hear the governor speak about the importance of funding basic education,” Merski said. "As a former educator for more than 20 years, I’ve seen firsthand the impact of a strong pre-K to grade 12 program. Instilling fundamental concepts in kids at the earliest possible age leads to better grades, stronger self-confidence and achievement in life. So an investment in public education is truly an investment in the future of the commonwealth.

“Funding is also important to ensure that the curriculum keeps pace with the changing demands of the modern workforce. As today’s jobs become increasingly complex, developing a curriculum doesn’t mean the same thing it did 30 years ago. There are increased demands for STEM courses, computer sciences and other tech-intensive classes that kids need in order to be prepared.

“I also support the governor’s proposed investment in workforce development. It’s clear that investing in our future generation of workers through enhanced career and tech training will yield returns in the form of a better-prepared, more competitive workforce.

“Now starts the work of reaching across the aisle to agree on a budget that works for everyday Pennsylvanians. As I work with my colleagues in the months ahead, I’ll have the interests of Erie’s working families foremost in my mind.”

Merski added that the governor’s proposals work well with the House Democrats’ Plan for PA, which invests in people over special interests and corporations by focusing on good jobs, affordable health care, quality schools and a fair economy in which everyone pays their fair share.