Northeast Times

Schwartz criticizes Corbett on school district budget woes

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for gov­ernor, cri­ti­cized Re­pub­lic­an Gov. Tom Corbett for what she sees as his un­will­ing­ness to work with the School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia on solu­tions to its fisc­al chal­lenges.

“Every child de­serves to have a good school to at­tend, and as gov­ernor, there is noth­ing that I would fight harder for than re­com­mit­ting Pennsylvania to pub­lic edu­ca­tion,” said Schwartz, whose two sons gradu­ated from Cent­ral High School. “We can­not be a great city and a great state without strong pub­lic schools. The Phil­adelphia school dis­trict fund­ing crisis hurts our chil­dren and it weak­ens our eco­nom­ic com­pet­it­ive­ness.”

The budget out­lined last week by School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia Su­per­in­tend­ent Wil­li­am Hite showed that stu­dent-teach­er ra­tios could climb to as much as 37-1 in ele­ment­ary schools and 41-1 in high schools. More than 1,000 teach­ers and edu­ca­tion pro­fes­sion­als could be laid off.

When Schwartz served in the state Sen­ate, she was the Demo­crat­ic chair­wo­man of the Edu­ca­tion Com­mit­tee. She sup­por­ted fund­ing for full-day kinder­garten and op­posed vouch­ers and the es­tab­lish­ment of the School Re­form Com­mis­sion.

“We’ve had too many years of Gov. Corbett leav­ing Phil­adelphia’s chil­dren be­hind. I will be­gin a brand new dir­ec­tion that starts with valu­ing pub­lic edu­ca­tion,” she said.

Mean­while, the United Trans­port­a­tion Uni­on an­nounced its en­dorse­ment of Schwartz.

Schwartz would use a por­tion of pro­ceeds from a shale sev­er­ance tax for in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects.

“No oth­er Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for gov­ernor comes close to match­ing Allyson’s lead­er­ship on trans­port­a­tion and in­fra­struc­ture policy or her bold plan to strengthen Pennsylvania’s roads, bridges and mass trans­it sys­tems, in­clud­ing rail, avi­ation and bus sys­tems,” said Paul A. Pok­rowka, state le­gis­lat­ive dir­ect­or and chair­man of the Pennsylvania State Le­gis­lat­ive Board of the United Trans­port­a­tion Uni­on.

Also last week, Schwartz picked up the en­dorse­ments of state Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic Lead­er Jay Costa, former Pitt­s­burgh May­or Tom Murphy and Brad­dock May­or John Fet­ter­man.

“As a former col­league, I know that Allyson is proven, tested and has the ex­per­i­ence to break through the status quo in Har­ris­burg. She will de­liv­er uni­ver­sal pre-K for four-year-olds and a reas­on­able shale drilling sev­er­ance tax that will fund our pub­lic schools,” Costa said.

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The cam­paign of Gov. Tom Corbett and Lt. Gov. Jim Caw­ley, a former Bucks County com­mis­sion­er, re­leased a ra­dio com­mer­cial that cri­ti­cizes Schwartz and the Demo­crat­ic fron­trun­ner, Tom Wolf.

The com­mer­cial la­bels Schwartz “ex­tremely lib­er­al” for help­ing to write Obama­care and get­ting a grade of F from the NRA.

The ad de­scribes Wolf, a former sec­ret­ary of the state De­part­ment of Rev­en­ue, as a “job-killing bur­eau­crat.”

“Pennsylvania voters need to know the truth about ex­treme lib­er­al Con­gress­wo­man Allyson Schwartz and mil­lion­aire Sec­ret­ary Tom Wolf,” stated Corbett-Caw­ley cam­paign man­ager Mike Bar­ley. “Our ad shines a light on the soft spot Con­gress­wo­man Schwartz has for the lib­er­al Pres­id­ent Barack Obama agenda and mil­lion­aire Sec­ret­ary Tom Wolf’s de­sire to hike taxes on middle class Pennsylvania fam­il­ies.”

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State Sen. Mike Stack, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for lieu­ten­ant gov­ernor, re­leased a tele­vi­sion com­mer­cial men­tion­ing that his grand­fath­er was a former con­gress­man who co-sponsored the first min­im­um wage and So­cial Se­cur­ity bills. In the ad, Stack said he sup­ports tax­ing mil­lion­aires and gas drillers, with pro­ceeds go­ing to pub­lic edu­ca­tion. He backs mar­riage equal­ity and a ban on as­sault weapons, and says, “I’ll al­ways pro­tect wo­men’s rights.”

A past Times art­icle on Stack in­dic­ated that he was pro-life on abor­tion, though he de­clares him­self pro-choice on his web­site.

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Vo­lun­teers are needed for the Com­mit­tee of Sev­enty’s Elec­tion Pro­tec­tion Pro­gram.

Vo­lun­teers spend Elec­tion Day vis­it­ing polls and provid­ing sup­port for voters and polling place of­fi­cials, help­ing re­solve is­sues re­por­ted to the 1-866-OUR-VOTE hot­line.

Field teams work in groups of two or three to mon­it­or polls in a spe­cif­ic ward, check­ing for in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­ha­vi­or and an­swer­ing voters’ ques­tions. They re­port in­cid­ents and on­go­ing prob­lems back to the Com­mit­tee of Sev­enty.

Rov­ing teams also work in groups of two or three but are as­signed spe­cif­ic dis­tricts (each in­cludes five to 10 wards). They re­spond to in­cid­ents and prob­lems re­por­ted to Sev­enty by field teams or oth­ers call­ing the hot­line.

Hot­line vo­lun­teers work in Sev­enty’s of­fice on Elec­tion Day, an­swer­ing calls from voters, poll of­fi­cials and Sev­enty vo­lun­teers. They staff the hot­line and help voters find their polling places, give ba­sic as­sist­ance with Elec­tion Day rules, dir­ect prob­lems to the cor­rect au­thor­it­ies and doc­u­ment prob­lems that will be re­spon­ded to by field and rov­ing teams.

For more in­form­a­tion, con­tact Patrick Christ­mas at pchrist­mas@sev­enty.org or 215-557-3600, Ext. 114. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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