Jun 11 2013

Philly issues pink slips, dissolution plan moves forward in Michigan

It wouldn’t be a normal day in the heartland without disheartening education headlines.

On Friday, The School District of Philadelphia issued 3,783 pink slips to nearly 20 percent of its employees. Today, the Michigan Legislature will take up two bills aimed at dissolving school districts

There’s no getting past the pure politics of these situations. Pennsylvania and Michigan are both states with business-minded Republican Governors and budget slashing Republican Legislatures. Over the past two and a half years, these men have slashed revenue sharing for education while pursuing massive business tax cuts — over $300 million in Pennsylvania’s case. Now they want to shudder 23 public schools in Philadelphia and as many as 55 school districts in Michigan to preserve these business tax cuts.

All I can say is that November 4, 2014 can’t come soon enough. I hope my fellow teachers across this country will stand up for our students, our schools, and our communities at the ballot box. By and large these school closures disproportionately impact low-income and/or minority students. The students we commit to serve as Teach For America corps members. I believe that any educator who subscribe to the idea of educational equity must stand up before it’s too late. Please join me.

3 Responses

  1. Shannon

    Tom Corbett is a disgrace. The irony: where I live, I own my house, and my property and school taxes have gone up EVERY YEAR since he has been in office. So, thanks for not raising STATE taxes, but eventually, we will somehow pay for it. I think it’s terrible to starve the school districts. Our SD is doing pretty well ATM, but if this continues, I’m not so sure.

    Not to mention, the increase in college tuition, particularly at community colleges. As an out of county resident, my turition per credit for CC went from $120 to $220 for full-time. When I was in the military in 2005, we got $250 per credit, because that’s what it cost at the State System of Higher Education Universities, just to give you an idea of how things have changed…

    Everyone expects low-income students to go on to college and work, as opposed to being on government assistance, but with these prices, it’s becoming out of reach.

    This state is not hurting either, for the most part, because we are bringing in billions from Marcellus Shale drilling. But it would hurt the Governor’s friends to properly tax that industry…Ironically, he has also slashed, and threatened to slash the budget for Environmental Protection, at a time when the state needs them most.

    • Shannon, it’s hard to believe the audacity of these big business Republicans. They’re willing to squeeze pennies from working, poor, and retired citizens to pay for tax breaks for their buddies in the corporate world. I hope you’re active on the campaign trail next year!

  2. Shannon

    Unfortunately, because of my job, I’m not allowed to be directly involved with campaigning. But, believe me, I urge everyone I know to come out and vote! I just hope we get someone viable on the Democratic ballot…

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I'm an educator, Kalamazoo College alumnus, Democrat, and proud Detroiter! Views here are my own.


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