The LuLac Edition #1535, April 5th, 2011
PHOTO INDEX: PENNSYLVANIA 13TH DISTRICT STATE SENATOR LLOYD SMUCKER.
EDUCATION UNDER CORBETT?
While newly minted Governor Tom Corbett keeps blaming Ed Rendell for the fiscal problems in the State, many educators as well as parents are looking on in alarm with some of the proposals that might be voted on today in Harrisburg by the State Senate. In addition to Corbett's proposed cuts to education (merit pay for teachers, economic furloughs, eliminating tenure for teachers, making PA a right to work state) , here is a highlighted list of Senate proposals by various Senators who are offering bills to reconstruct the Educational system in the Commonwealth. Calling it a “Mandate Relief Package” these proposals essentially Pledge to Relieve School Districts of Financial Burdens.
Senate Bill 612 Folmer: Economic Furloughs. Right now a district could only furlough for enrollment reasons. Removal of Seniority rights.
Senate Bill 857-- Smucker—Remove obsolete Rendell Administration language that required district to increase in basic education funding for new programs and expansion of existing programs.
Senate Bill 858 Waugh--Districts would be permitted the option of hiring certificated superintendents or candidates who have a degree in business or finance. Senate Bill 870 Eichelberger--Entitlement in Public School code for 10 paid sick days per year and Paid Sabbatical Leave will be repealed leaving these issues up to collective bargaining between districts and teachers unions.
Senate Bill 871 Brubaker--Continuing education and professional development for teachers would be suspended for 2 years saving educators, districts and the state significant monies All of these bills are in the hopper. The unions in the State are not thrilled with a few of these proposals. Educators recognize that salary freezes have to happen because of the budget crunch. Many view this as turnabout is fair play because of the generous funding provided by the previous administration. The Harrisburg Patriot News reports that the city School District reported that the district is starting its budget process with a $15 million deficit, based solely on mandated expenditures and projected drops in federal and state aid. What bothers me about one of the bills is giving the District an option to hire a Finance guy to be Superindent. That’s why there are business managers, right? Budget hearings on education are going on this week and the fate of education in the state will be decided by one if not all of these bills. Stay tuned. Sources: Charles Thompson, Harrisburg Patriot News. Thomas Stavitzski.