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.
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.”
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.
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 email@example.com or 215-557-3600, Ext. 114. ••