To give or not to give? That is the question.
Published June 2011 Voice
Yesterday was the last day you felt helpless in the face of furloughs, budget cuts, and the end of full-day kindergarten. Yesterday was the last day you worried about all the wrong-headed education policies being discussed in Harrisburg and D.C. and wondered “when will someone make it stop?”
Yesterday was also the last day you didn’t give to PSEA-PACE.
Today you resolve to convert your anxiety into enthusiasm; to re-direct your anger into positive action. Today you will join with your fellow educators to stand tall on your principles. Today is the first day of your new annual PACE contribution.
You know what we are up against.
The governor has proposed cutting public school funding by nearly $1.2 billion. Legislators want to spend a half-billion dollars on private school tuition vouchers. Elected officials across the country want to decimate collective bargaining rights, impose irrational mandates on education professionals, and curtail programs and resources our students need.
If we act immediately and with resolve, we can decide the future of public education in Pennsylvania.
Today is the day you begin to plan for the 2012 elections because you know the future of public education will be decided at the ballot box. Today is the day you join the effort to elect candidates who support public education.
PSEA’s Political Action Committee for Education (PACE) is how we decide our future. PACE supports candidates who support the profession we love, care about the students and communities we serve, and value the institution within which we work. To elect candidates who support public education, each of us needs to contribute to PACE.
And we need to do it now.
I don’t need to tell you that we are in the fight of our professional lives. You’re living it. You’re fighting hard, and, as a result, we are making progress. PSEA members are flooding legislators with emails, letters, and phone calls.
As a result of your efforts, the voucher bill is stalled in the Senate. The economic furloughs bill is much more reasonable than it was. And legislators are working to restore some of the funding the governor wants to cut from our schools.
But the future of our schools, our students, our communities, and our profession cannot be defined just by fighting against initiatives like these.
We need to fight for candidates who support and appreciate the work we do, who are committed to our students, and who value public education.
We can propel these candidates to victory by contributing money to their campaigns. And we raise that money through PACE.
You have proven once again that when we stand together and work together, PSEA can accomplish anything. In the last six months, as the passion and volume of your heartfelt appeals have intensified, legislators have been persuaded to reconsider their education policy priorities.
If we take that same energy and commitment and apply it to raising funds for PACE, we can make a difference at the ballot box. We can elect friends of public education. We can change the conversation in Harrisburg to one where we are discussing practical, experienced-based solutions to the challenges confronting public education, rather than perpetuating the blame game that some politicians seem to favor.
But, changing the conversation also means changing the people who make laws and policies.
We need every member to contribute to PACE.
In short, we need you.
Ask yourself this question: To give or not to give? But before answering, consider what future you want for your schools, your students, and your profession.
Think about the challenges we face today. And then think about how different it will be tomorrow if we have a governor and a General Assembly who are as committed to public education as we are.
I am confident that after you think about what is possible, you will want to help make it happen by making your contribution to PACE today. Please contribute by using the postage-paid envelope included in the center of this magazine. Please give what you can. Every dollar makes a difference.
Please do it now, even if you have contributed before.
Make today the day you help to shape our future—rather than allowing others do it for us. Thank you.
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