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Thomas J. West Music

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Save Our Schools: Immediate Action Needed In Pennsylvania

Posted on May 21, 2011 at 11:38 AM

all children left behind - save our schools

Since January, I have been writing articles about the changes in political positions in various states and how those changes are affecting public education and music education in particular. There has been much to report, and most of it has been distressing news.for anyone who understands the value of public school music education. In my home state of Pennsylvania, the time has come for anyone who reads my blog and is a constituent in the Commonwealth to speak up and make your voice heard.

The following statements come from Richard Victor, Advocacy Chair of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association. Mr. Victor is retiring this year as a high school band director and truly understands the legislative process.

Save Our Schools! Tell your legislators to oppose cuts to public school funding.

Governor Corbett's proposed $1.2 billion in cuts to PA public schools and classrooms will have real and lasting consequences for your students, families, and communities across Pennsylvania.

See how the proposed budget will impact your district at

School district cuts range from $168,000 to $295 million, with an average reduction of $2.3 million per school district across the state.

PA schools are among the best in the nation. The governor's proposed cuts will put student achievement at risk.

Use the PSEA Capwiz link to contact your legislators and urge them to oppose cuts to education.

State budget action needed TODAY

The House is poised for a vote next week on a $27.3 billion budget (House Bill 1485) that would cut nearly $1 billion from public education. While this budget proposal does restore some of the education cuts made by Governor Corbett, it still means major cuts to programs that help students succeed, and imposes deep cuts on additional programs that would negatively impact critical services for women, children, seniors, and vulnerable Pennsylvanians. We need to tell state representatives that this is not a viable solution.

At the same time House Republicans are proposing cuts to vital services, House Bill 1485 protects corporate tax loopholes, fails to enact a Marcellus Shale drilling tax, and puts $500 million of Pennsylvania taxpayer money in a "Rainy Day Fund" instead of using that money to prevent devastating cuts and save jobs. Legislators need to know it’s "raining" NOW in communities across Pennsylvania. They need to do the right thing and invest surplus dollars into public schools and other critical services.

Please call your state representative and urge him or her to vote NO on the House Republican budget. Ask representatives to restore the cuts to education and vital services. Tell them, it’s raining now and that surplus revenues should be used to help keep property taxes down by funding schools and the social services that our most vulnerable citizens rely on.

Find more information on the state budget proposal at and

No matter how strongly this change affects your community this year, you can be assured that by the following fiscal year, the cuts being made in other communities will have a ripple effect across the state and to neighboring states.

Shame on our elected officials for putting the profits of oil drilling companies ahead of our own children.

I appreciate state senators like Andy Dinniman, who held a rally in West Chester to protest Governor Corbett's drastic education cuts. He is responding appropriately to what a majority of constituents in his district have stepped forward to voice their opinions on.

This article (c) 2011 Thomas J. West. All content on ThomasJWestMusic dot com is licensed under a Creative Contributions Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Please contact the author before publishing on or off-line.

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Categories: Music Education, Editorial

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