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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks at a news conference on the Penn State campus in State College, Pennsylvania January 2, 2013.  Corbett said he will file a federal lawsuit against the NCAA over sanctions it levied against Pennsylvania State Univer
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett continues on his quest to destroy public education in Philadelphia. The city's schools—those that aren't among the 23 being closed—may not be able to open on time thanks to the layoffs of nearly 4,000 teachers and staff. Corbett is refusing further funding to the schools unless teachers make $130 million in concessions in a new contract. Meanwhile, without increased funding, Philadelphia schools Superintendent William Hite is looking to sidestep existing labor protections in his efforts to start the school year on time:
Many of the changes involve provisions governing labor practices. The District is seeking to bypass seniority rules as it restores positions and calls back laid-off workers. It also wants the ability to put at least a temporary halt to automatic pay increases based on longevity -- called "steps"-- for professional staff. [...]

Other requested changes would allow the District to hire licensed nurses who are not specifically certified as school nurses. Hite said that no current school nurses would be displaced, but that vacancies could be filled with nurses who would not be paid as much.

Hite also wants the SRC to suspend a requirement about "independent school employees" so that teachers at the District's new virtual school would not have to be part of the collective bargaining unit.

Funny, isn't it, how the answer to these budget crises is always to weaken unions, pay teachers less, and look for ways to hire cheaper staff? Students, meanwhile, are facing larger classes and fewer course offerings in addition to the lack of basic school supplies that already plagued the schools.

Pennsylvania has plenty of money to build a $400 million prison right outside Philadelphia, but it has only cuts, cuts, and more cuts for the city's schools. It's the outcome of a toxic combination of disregard for the mostly low-income and non-white students who will be affected by the cuts, outright hatred for the teachers and their unions, and a longer-term plan to undercut and eventually dismantle public education. We can hope that Corbett, an already unpopular governor, is going too far and that there will be a significant backlash. But damage has already been done and it looks like more damage is a near certainty.

Tell Mayor Nutter not to let Gov. Corbett make Philly the next Detroit. Defend families, teachers, and public schools.

(Via Crooks and Liars)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 10:22 AM PDT.

Also republished by Philly Kos, DKos Pennsylvania, and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Like it or not.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    israelfox87, hnichols, Stwriley

    The consequences of such abominable, ideologically-driven governance may be needed to ensure that the people of Pennsylvania finally rise and say 'ENOUGH!' If nothing else, Corbett's 2014 opponent should hammer him on this and ask, 'Just HOW is busting unions and vilifying teachers the solution to everything?' Make him actually ANSWER, not spout platitudes.

  •  He obviously cares about children... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26, hnichols, Stwriley

    He dragged his feet on "prosecuting" sandusky, and thereby was responsible for any and all abuse that happened because he refused to have him arrested, opting instead for a dragged out and entirely disingenuous show of "investigation."

    Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 10:57:31 AM PDT

  •  Schools (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26, pdxteacher, hnichols, Stwriley

    and teachers are the last bastion of strong unionism in this country. This is the systematic destruction of a proud profession and will decimate upward mobility for urban youth, what little has survived budget cuts, for a long time.

    The private sector is no longer organized in any way and now they come for teachers, police officers, social workers, fire fighters.

    2014 has to be about electing new governors in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Wisconsin. These state union massacres are in direct relation to the victories by rabid Koch-backed politicians in 2010

  •  There's always plenty of money (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    israelfox87, Mostel26, Stwriley

    for the private for profit sector, especially prisons. We can't get enough of those things. School funding must be cut. It's a Republican rule. They are so opposed to education on so many levels that I often think it is a strategy to build their base. The less education the more likely they are to vote Republican.

    Here in Oklahoma we have an emergency. What? No, not the tens of thousands of uninsured citizens or the kids who go to bed hungry or the homeless people, well, you get the idea. It seems an "activist judge" (defined as any judge who rules against business or rich people) has thrown out the so called "tort reform" legislation which was designed to eliminate corporate responsibility. (As opposed to personal responsibility required of the poor and middle class which is sacrosanct.) Per gubernatorial decree we must have a special session of the legislature. This abomination must be fixed and it must be fixed now. It's an emergency, don't you know, unlike the dozens of other failings that have placed our sorry ass at the very bottom of almost all 50 states. Priorities. You've got to have your priorities straight.

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