Saturday, March 26, 2011

Corbett's Education Mandate Relief Could Harm Our Children

Republican Senators Jeffrey Piccola and Pat Browne (Pat represents my town ) are proposing legislation that could harm our children. One of Governor Tom Corbett's goals is to cut the budget through education "mandate relief." The current educational mandates are the minimum quality standards for public education allowed by law. Lowering these standards to save money is disgraceful. Shame on Browne and Piccola for proposing legislation to meet crooked Corbett's goal. It is hypocritical for the government to set (what they believe to be) high academic standards (NCLB), while at the same time lowering standards for services that certified school nurses perform- crucial services that our children need. We should be hiring more school nurses to serve disadvantaged kids as the child poverty rate climbs. These legislators who make these decisions are not educators and are putting politics before children. The PA School Boards Association is on board with mandate relief legislation.

These genius politicians actually believe that a school district superintendent, who heads an education system, does not need an education degree. A business or finance graduate can do that job! Where is the evidence of this? This is a slap in the face to educators and devalues the specialized work they do.

The genius legislators believe that school nurses do not need to be certified, and that any RN can do the job. School nurses are certified for a reason, because it's a specialized field, they have to work independently, and they must have an understanding of an educational environment and the needs of children in school.

I think these crooked politicians should be put under the same kind of scrutiny as teachers and public school workers. There are even duped Democrats who are on board with this nonsense. A school is NOT a business, it's a learning environment. These cuts, along with the proposed school vouchers, will result in even larger class sizes in urban schools, racial and socio-economic segregation, the loss of experienced teachers, sub-standard services for poor children, more experimental business models that don't work to improve learning, and the closing of urban public schools in order to privatize public education. The ultimate goals of Republicans: keep the poor and middle class down, let the rich get richer, dismantle unions, and allow the Republican ideology of meanness and greed to rule the country. Good people cannot allow this to happen. Public school kids deserve the same well rounded education that the Obama girls enjoy. This is not the kind of hope and change I had expected.

Here's what is being proposed: (Source: The Morning Call)

•Loosening certification requirements so people with finance or business degrees can serve as superintendents.

•Requiring a two-thirds vote by school boards to approve tax increases. The administration has proposed giving voters the right to vote on any tax hike that outpaces inflation.

•Allowing school districts to furlough teachers for economic reasons.

•Allowing districts to sidestep seniority rights as a way of holding onto a skilled teacher with less seniority.

•Giving districts the option of hiring a registered nurse or a certified school nurse. Certified school nurses now cost districts about $60 million statewide. Lawmakers could not say how much districts would save by hiring less costly RNs.

•Imposing a two-year moratorium on continuing education and professional development programs for teachers.

Write to your senator and voice your opposition to this nonsense. It's wrong and will harm our children. Make education a priority and speak out!

1 comment:

Mrs. Dottie said...

Along with this mandate relief legislation, and vouchers, throw in the defunding of full day kindergarten, and other programs for disadvantaged children. Vouchers will cost 1 billion, and will not cover the entire tuition, so poor families who cannot make up the difference will not benefit from vouchers. Also, bussing will not be provided, so this will prevent poor kids from enjoying the "benefits" of school choice. Also, vouchers will give public money to private and religious schools, while taking money away from public schools.
This is all a recipe for disaster. Oh, and this will result in segregation, which will further polarize the community.