Teachers and parents in one school district in the Poconos rallied to protest possible school closures and teacher layoffs.
The man they blame is Governor Tom Corbett and his proposed budget.
The governor`s proposal does not cut funding to basic education; school districts across the state will get what they received last year.
But the governor slashed funding last year, meaning the Pocono Mountain School District got about four million dollars less, and that’s what the district will get again this year.
“Corbett, stop cutting our kids! Corbett, stop cutting our kids!”
Teachers, support staff and parents rallied as one voice here at the Swiftwater Campus of the Pocono Mountain School District against Governor Tom Corbett`s proposed spending plan.
The district is set to get the same amount of state dollars as last year, which was cut by four million dollars from the year before.
“With the cuts that Governor Corbett made last year that made a big difference with Pocono Mountain with all the layoffs that we had,” said school nurse Mary Ann Boylan. “Between the teachers staff being laid off, the programs being cut.”
“These are children and not dollars,” said parent Angela Montrose. “If he`s so concerned about our economy, yet on the other hand he`s taking away from our children who are our future.”
This year the district has a $ 22 million shortfall in its budget.
So, the district is proposing to cut $7.7 million in professional staff positions, such as teachers and teachers’ aides and $1.8 million in support staff positions, like custodians.
Pocono Mountain would also close three schools.
“Hopefully our state legislatures also start to hear the message because they have the opportunity to adjust that budget and tell Governor Corbett that enough is enough.”
Lawmakers from the Poconos also weighed in.
Republican State Senator Dave Argall (R-29) wrote: “The state does not have the same luxury as the federal government to address funding problems by printing more money. The fact is we have lost almost $1.42 billion in federal stimulus funds:
Democratic State Representative Mike Carroll (D-118) wrote: “I am very concerned with the governor`s proposed level of funding for public education in our state generally, and the funding for the Pocono Mountain School District in particular. I believe public education is a core function of state government and our students deserve adequate state resources to reach their full potential.”
“What I want Harrisburg to hear is to have Governor Corbett change his budget and to give more money back to education like it should be,” said Boylan.