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Adequate Funding for Education

Derek Bok said, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”  We are at a crossroads in regards to what an adequate education is and what the commonwealth should spend on education. It is time for the citizens to encourage the commonwealth to pass a budget that provides adequate funding for education.  The big question is adequate by whose definition?

According to the Governor, the House or Senate?  Let’s look at the word “adequate”. The word adequate can take on a number of meanings:

1.        1. As much or as good as necessary for some requirement or purpose; fully sufficient or;

2.        2. Barely sufficient or suitable as in not good enough.

It appears that our current impasse has trapped our leaders in between both ends of the definition.  

Perhaps we should look at what “adequate” is from the eyes of the end user, our students. What is an adequate education in the 22nd century? Are the “4 R’s” truly enough in 2016 and beyond? Should all electives, extra-curricular activities, transportation, and things such as building maintenance be cut or scaled back? Would cutting these and other areas truly prepare students for the future of this commonwealth and country? Based on the current path being commissioned, a Free and Appropriate Public Education will be delivered without extra-curricular activities like athletics or electives like programming, AP English, chemistry, trigonometry, foreign languages, consumer science and music. You get the idea. As Harrisburg wrestles with what adequate is, schools across the commonwealth are gearing for a shutdown and will have to think about teaching just the basics, including cutting transportation.

We think we can agree that a well educated and informed citizenry is best for all. At what cost appears to be the question. Should the state budget be 30.2 billion or 30.8 billion? To raise taxes or not? Privatize liquor? How does the pension system get fixed? These things need to be addressed, and standing on opposite sides of the aisle pointing fingers will accomplish nothing. It all starts with a handshake and a commitment to get things done. 

Pennsylvania citizens need to decide what level of education we want for our kids, our grandkids, and ultimately our great grandkids.  What is adequate in 2016 and beyond? We can continue to debate over funding amounts but discussion is not adequate enough to solve the matter.   We are urging all parents and concerned citizens to contact their state representatives and the governor and ask them to pass last year’s budget and put serious effort into getting the 2016 budget done as well.

Educationally Yours,

Karen Jez                     Superintendent, Titusville Area School District

Jarrin Sperry                Superintendent, Conneaut School District

Tom Washington         Superintendent, Crawford Central School District

Michael Healey            Superintendent, PENNCREST School District

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301 East Spruce Street, Titusville, PA 16354   |   Telephone: 814-827-2715  Fax: 814-827-7761
301 East Spruce Street Titusville, PA 16354