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Educators: Funding for Schools Leads to Greener Economic Pastures

November 19, 2008

Harrisburg, PA - It's American Education Week, and Pennsylvania educators are sending out a reminder that investing in students now will lead to brighter economic times tomorrow. A 2006 study found that public education in the state was under-funded by $4 billion. The state legislature allocated $274 million toward fixing the problem in the 2008-2009 school year, but Jim Testerman, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, says more help is needed to turn things around in the classroom and beyond.

"It's our position that now is the time to truly invest in saying we will grow the economy. One of the things we know will grow the economy is an educated citizenry. “

Testerman says he hopes the pending re-authorization of the No Child Left Behind Act by Congress will include some careful revisions.

"The regulations that implement the law are fundamentally flawed. We really need to sit down and look at how to return the law to its original intent, which was to provide each child educational opportunities and truly lift children out of poverty."

Testerman says increased funding will lead to smaller class sizes, updated technology, and new textbooks.

Some lawmakers say tight budgets will make it tough to make new investments in education. Education experts say parents can do their part to encourage a good education by focusing on school readiness — making sure their children are healthy and well-nourished, and that they develop a love of reading.

Kelly Glorioso Fodel/Steve Powers, Public News Service - PA