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January 3, 2011
PSEA member action made a difference in 2010
Every day, PSEA members deliver the power of a great education for students working in our schools and classrooms. In 2010, more than 100,000 members went even further, SPEAKING UP for PA kids and schools at every opportunity.
PSEA members’ e-mails, telephone calls, post cards, and visits to lawmaker offices helped to make achieve historic victories for children and public education.
Here are just a few highlights of this year’s achievements.
PSEA and NEA member action:
- Protected pensions - Pennsylvania will Keep the Promise of defined benefit pensions for current and future school employees, through HB 2497/Act 120 , legislation that protects school employee pensions and creates a responsible solution to the upcoming pension rate spike;
- Increased funding for PA students and classrooms - member action helped to secure a $200 million increase for education in the 2010-2011 state budget, funding that helps students to make progress and achieve more in public schools;
- Increased federal education funding - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act doubled pre-K to 12 spending, provided a $250 tax credit in GPO/WEP states, preserved jobs, and more;
- Improved learning conditions - secured $4 billion to modernize public schools;
- Kept more than 550,000 educators working and millions of students learning - the Recovery Act saved 400,000 jobs and the Education Jobs Fund an additional 150,000 to prevent skyrocketing class sizes, and cuts to after school programs;
- Helped make higher education affordable - invested an unprecedented $2 billion in community colleges, increased Pell Grants, and streamlined student loans;
- Addressed the needs of the whole child - expanded the school lunch program, set new standards to improve the quality of school meals with more fruits and vegetables, and provided professional development for food service workers;
- Expanded access to health care for children and adults - added 4 million poor children to current programs, created new programs for 32 million uninsured Americans, enabled children to stay on a parent’s policy until age 26, ended abuses such as lifetime coverage limits and dropping people when they get sick, and more.
Thank you to all PSEA members who took the time to speak up this year for students and public education. You took time to contact lawmakers to make sure education and student achievement were part of important legislative decisions. Your voices were heard, and your hard work helped to make possible each of the successes listed here.
2011 will bring new challenges, and we must continue to speak up for public schools, for educators, and for the students. Together, we can continue to make a difference.