Daily Archives: March 25, 2011

When did Tom Corbett lose faith in *public* education?

Thanks and kudos to WCU student Kevin Mann for this catch:

As a candidate, Tom Corbett wrote a position paper about education policy posted at the very useful site Vote Smart.  There’s not really anything in it you wouldn’t expect from a Republican gubernatorial candidate–lots of talk about accountability, making sure money is spent wisely, rewarding quality teaching and ousting bad teachers, all the usual suspects.

Interestingly, however, there’s a passage in his statement that jumped out at Kevin, and me:

Tom Corbett believes in Pennsylvania’s public school system and will make funding our schools a top priority. Putting students first means ensuring the resources intended to support their education make it to the schools and classrooms they attend.

The second half of that is standard issue conservative education-reform-speak.  But notice in the first sentence the commitment to public education.

At the bottom of the page is a link to then-candidate Corbett’s own campaign website, on which you’d find a somewhat shorter, lightly edited version of the same statement.  I’ll point you specifically to the most interesting, uh, edit.

Tom Corbett believes in Pennsylvania’s education system and will make funding our schools a top priority. Putting students first means ensuring the resources intended to support their education make it to the schools and classrooms they attend.

See what’s missing?  Tom Corbett doesn’t care about public education anymore!

And I can’t even begin to prove what I’m about to posit, but I’m going to posit it anyway.  Sue me.

According to Follow the Money, one of the largest individual contributors to the Corbett for Governor campaign is a fella named Vahan Gureghian, CEO of Charter School Management Corporation.  I’ve written about this relationship elsewhere and won’t (don’t need to?) rehash it here; the short version is that it’s awfully difficult to believe that Corbett’s, um, turn away from support for public education isn’t connected, at least in some way, with huge amounts of money appearing in his campaign coffers from somebody who stands to profit massively from cuts to the public education system.

Gee.  What a surprise.  The Governor supported public education, until he didn’t.  He supported publication, more likely, until a rich charter-school “entrepeneur” persuaded (!) him not to.  And here we are today.

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Filed under Follow the Money, K-12 Education, Tom Corbett, VoteSmart.org

Information on Monday’s Protest in H’burg

A couple of links, and then info on joining the WCU contingent–

From the State APSCUF blog, announcing the rally and the line-up of speakers

One of the coolest actions I’ve seen anybody undertake yet as part of this campaign: members of Lock Haven’t track team are running to the rally.  From Lock Haven.  To Harrisburg.

I know I’m cajoling you, but for goodness sakes, people.  If 30 track team members from Lock Haven can put together a 100-mile relay run, we can find 20 people to ride a bus to Harrisburg.

Go!  If you want to be on the bus, be in the parking lot behind Swope @ 8:15 Monday morning.  You’ll be back in town by 5 pm at the latest.  Lunch provided, no expense.  Go join fellow students from across PA to let the Legislature know they can’t do this!

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Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, Links, Lock Haven University, PASSHE, Rally, Student activism, Tom Corbett, West Chester University

Reason to hope, but we MUST KEEP WORKING

As coverage of the Chancellor’s testimony to the Senate Budget Committee continues to roll in, the picture sounds pretty clear.  Very few legislators are on board with the Governor’s proposal to slash PASSHE’s budget by 50%.


A couple of reminders before we all get swept in the rush towards finals, our looming summer plans, and so on–

1.  If you’ve followed events in Wisconsin and Ohio, in particular, throughout February and into March, then you know how often the public employee unions there thought that they were making real progress in getting Governors Scott Walker and John Kasich to back off their preposterous proposals.  We all thought, in Wisconsin especially, that the Republican state senators were realizing how absurd the whole situation was and that they’d do the right thing.

They didn’t.  Not a damn one of ’em.  Acting (maybe even believing themselves) *today* as if they’re on our side doesn’t mean they will be when the votes actually count.

2.  One reason the PA Senate Budget Committee can afford to be so vocally supportive of our system is our work.  They know we’re out here.  They know we’re watching.  They know we’ll support people who support us, and we’re doggedly oppose people who don’t.  They know thousands of students, faculty, staff, and administrators/managers are actively protesting the cuts, and our work both demands their efforts and emboldens them.

So, take the first round of good news for what it’s worth–a validation that what we’re doing to fight the cuts is right.  But don’t take it for more than it’s worth–we haven’t won anything yet.

Next step:

Monday, in Harrisburg–a rally at the Capitol @ 11:30 am.

If you’re a WCU student interested in going, contact Seth <herecomestrouble1208@gmail.com> and let me know.


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Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, Communities, PASSHE, Rally, Student activism, Tom Corbett