Yesterday, my eight-year-old and five-year-old sons started a new year at St. Jerome Regional School (SJRS) in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania.
Their first day back is always bittersweet. The thought of them heading off to acquire building blocks for a happy and fulfilling life brings a wide smile to my face. On the other hand, I get a little lachrymose because in the back of my mind I wonder how much longer their school will remain open. The day could come when the doors to the school they love are barred forever.
You see, like a lot of private schools, SJRS is constantly fighting to stay alive because government school unions have successfully protected their monopoly on K-12 education funding: they get virtually all of it, and private schools get hardly anything. The government school union bosses are not the least bit interested in equity, fairness, or choices for hardworking low- and middle-income taxpaying parents. For the government union bosses, it’s about good old-fashion turf guarding.
Governor Tom Corbett wants choice and fairness for children. And so does a large, bipartisan coalition of state legislators. But the government schools still have a monopoly on funding because their union bosses control enough legislators that equality cannot see the light of day.
Well, Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) is mad as hell and isn’t going to stand for it anymore. Earlier this year we announced that any Republican lawmaker who goes against his own party’s Governor and the need of struggling taxpayers will get a well-funded challenger in next year’s Primary Election. Let me tell you, this is not hollow bluster. To date, CAP has interviewed a half-dozen potential candidates for the state House and Senate in districts occupied by career politicians who are wholly owned subsidiaries of the teachers’ union.
For this goal of purging union pawns from the General Assembly, we have raised $1 million so far (including pledges and commitments). It will take significantly more than that to break the unions’ stranglehold on education funding, as the unions spend $18 million a year to preserve the status quo.
So today, I ask that you please make the most generous contribution you can to CAP. The union has been beaten before and it must be beaten now.
Wisconsin set the stage for other states whose residents live as prisoners to powerful government union officals. Ordinary working folks are waking up and stepping up, and CAP is the train that’s moving from the station — turning back is no longer an option.
Nothing less than a well-educated generation of Pennsylvanians is at stake. Please give as much as you can afford. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.