Crossposted from Democratic Convention Watch
Here in Pennsylvania, we have a governor who believes education is not a necessity for poor kids, especially black ones. I have a huge spreadsheet from last year when Corbett announced the education cuts. It's too big to post, but if you want a copy, email me and I'll send one over. The faulty logic employed in Corbett's calculations was to pretend that 2009 stimulus money was still coming. It was a specious oversight, done on purpose.
So here are some numbers (from the spreadsheet released by Corbett's office) related to Chester-Upland, a poor district. 43% of the 3,600 children comprising the student body live in poverty. Total funding for the 2010-2011 school year – $43 million. Total cuts (Basic Ed, PA Accountability Grant, Charter School Reimbursement, Educational Assistance Program) – $18 million, or about 32%, totaling $2,542/student.
And here is the news from the acting superintendent:
We now face a very challenging financial crisis. We are currently unable to fund the district’s payroll expenses after January 4, 2012.
That's right, as of yesterday, there is no money to pay the employees.
There is a chunk of money (about $18 million) that Corbett could release now, prior to the planned disbursement in June. But no word from Tom's office. The teachers and support workers, however, have a different message: they will work as long as they can, even with no pay. To the students, (yesterday) from Gloria Zoranski, president of the Chester Upland School District’s employee associations:
We also have a message for the students of the district – we will be at work tomorrow, so come to school prepared to learn.
That's right – to all those who think teachers are money-grubbing, union-first-kids-last types – they'll work without pay to teach. And janitors? They don't need Newt's kid-janitor program: they'll be on the job, too.
This is what the 2012 elections will be ALL about: do we educate kids or do we allow the teabaggers to continue on their destructive path? And as an aside, this is why it's such a big deal that Mitt “Mittens” Romney won't release his tax return: with the money he's got in the Caymans, avoiding American taxes, and the 15% rate he pays on the money Bain is still paying him, well, let's just say that the money he didn't pay would easily have kept Chester-Upland going another few months….fewer dollars for his undocumented gardeners, but more to teach Johnny to read.