PSEA State Budget Scorecard 2012
Member advocacy made a difference
What happens when 187,000 PSEA members speak up for public education? Legislators LISTEN.
Here's a look at what PSEA member advocacy helped to accomplish this spring:
- School Funding: Gov. Corbett proposed $100 million in additional funding cuts to kindergarten and tutoring programs, and wanted to fund school districts with "block grants."
The result: REJECTED. In the final budget, state legislators restored $100 million for kindergarten and tutoring, added $50 million for financially distressed school districts, and rejected the governor's block grant proposal. There's still a funding crisis in the public schools, but this budget is a first step toward solving it. Visit www.psea.org/schoolcuts to find out how this year's budget impacts your school district.
- Educator Evaluations: Gov. Corbett wanted to base 50 percent of our evaluations on standardized test scores, give educators unsatisfactory ratings based solely on these scores, and even dismiss educators because of them.
The result: REJECTED. State legislators passed an educator evaluation law that uses 16 different measures of student performance - like tests, quizzes, and projects - in evaluations. The law does NOT base 50 percent of an evaluation on a standardized test, prevents dismissals and unsatisfactory ratings based solely on test scores, and ensures that 50 percent of an educator's evaluation is based on classroom observations.
- Collective Bargaining: Under the guise of helping financially distressed school districts, Gov. Corbett proposed a bill that attacked our collective bargaining rights, would convert public schools into charter schools, and would turn entire districts over to for-profit companies under the guise of helping financially distressed school districts.
The result: REJECTED. State legislators passed a financially distressed school districts law that protects collective bargaining rights, and controls the expansion of charter schools.
- Charter Reform: Gov. Corbett pushed a bill that would create a state authorizing entity for charter schools and make it easier to convert community public schools into charter schools, removing local school boards and parents from the process - but sticking local taxpayers with the bill.
The result: REJECTED. State legislators did not create a state authorizing entity for charter schools, and did not make it easier to convert community public schools into charter schools. In fact, efforts to enact a scaled down version of charter reform fell apart, which means there were no changes to current charter school law.
- Vouchers: For the past 18 months, the Corbett administration has pushed for a taxpayer-funded school voucher program.
The result: REJECTED. Finally admitting defeat and that they were far short of the necessary votes to enact vouchers, the governor and his allies had to settle for a small modification to the already existing Education Improvement Tax Credit – an approach that ensures money will not be taken directly from public school districts.