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Letter to the Editor - April 15

April 15, 2013

Pa. lawmakers do not support our local schools


To the editor:


If Franklin County residents like paying higher property taxes so that our communities’ children can go to school in crowded classrooms with fewer and fewer educational opportunities, they have elected the perfect governor and state lawmakers.

If Franklin County residents want their school tax dollars to be spent on expensive advertising, political lobbying, seven-figure CEO salaries and shareholder profits for cyber charter school management companies instead of being used to educate children, they have elected the perfect governor and state lawmakers.

If Franklin County residents who want to close their eyes to the reality of what is happening with public education funding believe that the state of Pennsylvania is providing more money to our school districts than ever before, and not less, they have elected the perfect governor and state lawmakers.

Franklin County school districts are beginning to roll out their budgets for the 2013-14 school year. So far, Waynesboro and Greencastle- Antrim have announced enormous budget shortfalls. Students in these districts will receive fewer educational opportunities and taxpayers will pay higher property taxes. Many other districts will soon be sharing the same bad news.

Gov. Tom Corbett, state Reps. Kauffman and Rock, and Sen. Alloway all continue to insist with straight faces that the state government of Pennsylvania is providing our local school districts with more money than ever before.

This claim is desperate, at best. At worst, it is insulting to the taxpayers and families in the districts that they represent. We have seen program after program cut in our schools. We know our children are receiving far fewer educational opportunities than their brothers and sisters who came before them. And we all see our school tax bills.

In a region where the schools are a significant way for poor children to escape the cycle of poverty, these actions will be devastating.

It is time for Franklin County residents to stand up for themselves and their children and demand that our lawmakers support our public schools.

Our legislators need to know that we care about our children, we care about our public schools, and that we are watching to see if they will stand with us or with Gov. Corbett and his misguided policies that are hurting our children and our communities.

Melinda M. Schwenk-Borrell
Chambersburg, Pa.

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