Tom Joseph, Public News Service-PA
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The head of the union representing teachers and other public employees in Pennsylvania says the union’s new 100-page report on education should be required reading for Gov. Tom Corbett and state lawmakers.
Mike Crossey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), says the report – Solutions That Work – details 20 research-based, classroom initiatives proven to help students learn.
"We've taken a look at every aspect of the school environment,” Crossey explains, “and we put together a series of resolutions and a series of suggestions that we know work for kids, make kids the best they can be."
The report looks at issues facing schools, ranging from class size to dropout rates, to poverty.
Crossey says despite some school funding being restored by the General Assembly, Pennsylvania's public schools today remain more than $700 million below their funding levels of just three years ago.
He says the report has been years in the making.
"We have these policymakers across the street and they'd say to us, 'Well, you know, we want to do this,'” he explains. “And we'd go, 'Well, that doesn't work.' Finally, somebody said, 'What do you want?' And we said, 'Good idea – we'll tell you.'"
Crossey emphasizes the report is not intended to be an agenda for PSEA.
"It doesn't talk about teachers, other than the fact that, you know – professional development and those kind of things,” he says. “This entire document is about helping our children in our public schools be more successful."