The latest headlines out of Pennsylvania are not good. As @DianeRavitch noted on Twitter this morning, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette is reporting that today 285 teachers were sent furlough notices. It's going to get ugly there.
Pittsburgh Public Schools today is sending out 285 provisional furlough notices to teachers and other professionals, a prelude to what is expected to be the largest number of teacher layoffs in the district's history.
Teachers and other professionals represented by the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers this afternoon will receive notices in their email. In addition, notices were sent by mail on Tuesday.
As Ed has noted over and over again, the governor of Pennsylvania is making draconian cuts to the public school system, and this is the type of headline you're going to keep seeing out of Pennsylvania.
Back in the eastern part of the state, they're feeling the crunch too. And as the Washington Post picked up the other day, one high profile Pennsylvanian is doing something about it. Tina Fey, the star of NBC's 30 Rock, is a product of the Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, school system and she decided to pitch in.
Fey, creator and star of “30 Rock,” heard that her old high school friend, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Maria Panaritis (who played Rizzo in that “Grease” production), was working on a piece about the budget cuts and offered to get involved.
In this article, Panaritis wrote:
“How can I help?” Tina Fey offered when she heard I was working on a story. The now-famous writer and comedic actress was about to head into a movie shoot but would make time; this was important.
The Daily Times reported that Fey e-mailed the above video to friends and asked them to sign a petition that organizers plan to present to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) and state legislators early next month.
Fey sent out the following message to her friends...
“Hi Friends, The link below is a video about how they are cutting almost all arts and music from the elementary schools in my home town. (Educational Realignment should be the new euphemism for crapping in your own bed.)
“Other than to showcase some amazing Philly accents, I’m sending this to you in the off chance you know someone who can bring attention to this story. It’s emblematic of garbage that’s going on in a lot of states. This budget goes to vote next week, May 30, so it’s not only disgraceful, it’s time sensitive.
“Sign the online petition? Tweet about it? Do a long monologue about it on a national television show? Ya’ll know I don’t usually forward stuff like this, so thanks. Tina”