This afternoon, the House GOP leadership announced that it would not return to Harrisburg to vote on a proposed cigarette tax bill that had been delayed in the state Senate. The failure to pass the bill means Philadelphia schools are more than $83 million short of last year’s inadequate funding. This is Parents United’s statement about the latest failure of the state leadership.
Republican lawmakers have scheduled golf outings and fundraisers for next week but they won’t find time for the simple act of passing a marginal cigarette tax for Philadelphia schools – the only district in the state run by the state of Pennsylvania.
The House GOP decision to refuse the barest of funding gestures is a planned sabotage of our schools, our children, and our city. It proves that under Governor Tom Corbett, the “crisis” in Philadelphia has never been accidental, unpredictable, or a surprise. It’s been a purposeful act of cruelty and neglect.
Parents United for Public Education calls upon the School District of Philadelphia to stand for the safety and academic well-being of Philadelphia children. There should be no cuts to schools as a result of the state legislature’s failure. Moreover, the District must conduct a needs-based assessment of every school and restore key personnel to assure the academic success and health of children. Schools should not open otherwise.
Parents United will consult with legal counsel about our rights and options in the weeks ahead. We believe our children’s lives and well-being are at stake, and will do what’s necessary to protect them from the unforgiveable failure and patent cruelty of too many of our elected officials.