BLOG: Years of Underfunding Have Crippled Pennsylvania’s Schools

first_imgBLOG: Years of Underfunding Have Crippled Pennsylvania’s Schools By: Mark Nicastre, Communications Director March 11, 2016 Education,  Schools That Teach,  The Blog Pennsylvania’s schools are struggling. It didn’t happen overnight, and it’s not the result of the budget impasse. Right now, Governor Tom Wolf is fighting to make sure that all schools have the sustainable resources they need to provide a high quality education for our students, but the legislature continues to stand in the way. Governor Wolf has proposed historic investments that would put Pennsylvania’s schools on the right track after years of devastating cuts. But instead of working with the governor to help fix our schools, Republicans simply sent him another out of balance budget that would cut $95 million from education and grow the deficit.For years, Pennsylvania’s schools have been underfunded. The previous administration cut $1 billion from public education, which resulted in teacher layoffs, program cuts, and higher property taxes. But in addition to the previous administrations cuts, schools’ finances have been structurally damaged by the lack of funding over the course of the past five years. Since 2010, there have been many credit downgrades to school districts. This is the result of a lack of commitment in state funding, and it means that it costs every district more money to borrow in order to finance important projects or secure loans for operations.The number of schools considered distressed increased from two in 2010 to nine in 2015, including schools in financial watch status. Furthermore, the state has been spending millions beyond typical appropriations just to keep the lights on at many schools. Since 2010-11, the commonwealth has had to make nearly $90 million in extraordinary payments to eight school districts. Several school districts have faced closure over the past several years, only to be saved at the last minute with a solution that is unsustainable. Philadelphia schools would have closed without the enactment of dedicated sales and cigarette taxes and other schools have wobbled at the precipice for years.Governor Wolf visits the Alexander D. Goode School on the Schools That Teach TourWith so many school districts facing such dire fiscal realities, we had hoped that there would be an effort to address the problem but the passage of House Bill 1460 was another clear indication that the legislature was not serious about funding our schools or addressing our deficit. Their budget failed to include $305 million in unpaid school construction reimbursements – costs the state simply cannot pay for because of its poor credit and unbalanced budget – which would lead to a net $95 million cut.There are real consequences for years of gimmicks, underfunding, and neglect. And we have reached the end of the line. There won’t be any more extraordinary payments. It’s going to be much harder for school districts to get loans. Whether those consequences hit in the next few months or the next few years, school districts should be ready. If we provide nothing more to school districts than the levels that would have been provided in the inadequate funding plan that did reach the governor’s desk in the end of December, there would be several school districts who may not be able to open this fall, and certainly would not be able to keep their doors open through the end of the school year. That’s the reality. In challenging times, you can be fiscally responsible while still looking out for the people you serve. These values are not mutually exclusive; they are closely linked. Governor Wolf knows firsthand how to make this balance work — throughout his career in the private sector, he had to make payroll each week while running a highly successful business. He understands it takes diligence and commitment to pay the bills on time.It’s time for an honest budget that funds our schools, fixes our deficit, and finally addresses the fiscal challenges facing Pennsylvania and our schools.It’s time for Republicans to finally work with the governor and fund our schools. We don’t need another gimmicky budget that cuts education funding like the one they passed in December. We need a real, sustainable solution that puts our schools on the right path.That is what Governor Wolf is fighting for.center_img To learn more about Governor Wolf’s commitment to Schools That Teach, click here.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

US$269m cruise ship pier officially opened in Jamaica

first_img 92 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring! Share LifestyleTravel US$269m cruise ship pier officially opened in Jamaica by: – March 24, 2011center_img Share Tweet MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (JIS) — Jamaica’s ‘most modern and elaborate’ port, the Falmouth Cruise Pier in Trelawny, was officially opened on Tuesday.The approximately US$ 269 million pier, which is still under construction, also saw the arrival of the world’s largest cruise vessel, Oasis of the Seas, making its inaugural stopover in Jamaica, with about 6,000 passengers and 2,000 crew members on board.Thousands of onlookers watched the arrival of the huge cruise liner, regarded as one of the most innovative and imaginative ships yet. The stopover coincided with the official opening of the pier, established by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), in partnership with Royal Caribbean International, owners of the Oasis of the Seas.Addressing the large crowd at the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Bruce Golding commended Royal Caribbean and the Port Authority, for their investment in the town of Falmouth.“Cabinet gave approval for the project in 2008, and here we are today, some two and a half years later, celebrating this milestone,” Golding said.He said that the port represents a significant level of investment in Falmouth, as well as Jamaica’s tourism, and commended Royal Caribbean for its “unwavering” commitment.“There are many projects, I know, that were launched about the same time and when the global recession hit … (but) despite all of those challenges, Royal Caribbean remained steadfast in their commitment and, today we celebrate the birth of this fantastic facility – the dawn of a new day for Falmouth and Jamaica,” he stated.“If you look around, you will see that there is work in progress, if you walk into the town, work is ongoing, but there is more work that has to be done,” he added.He said that while there were doubts about the project, when he walked through Water Square in Falmouth, he was pleased with the transformation.“To be very honest with you, what I saw when I came this morning, I didn’t know that it would be possible, but the team has done a marvelous job in getting all of that in place”, he noted.The prime minister alluded to the sewerage plan for the town, indicating a need to significantly enhance and improve its capacity. He said that a significant level of investment will have to be made to provide the sewage capacity Falmouth needs, or the town’s system will come under stress.“There are people who are going to want to go to Falmouth, take in Vision 2030 and decide that it is not Jamaica but Falmouth that is the place to live, work, raise your families and do business,” Golding observed.He commended the stakeholders for the tremendous work accomplished in the establishment of the port, and former Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, under whose administration the project was conceptualized.MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (JIS) — Jamaica’s ‘most modern and elaborate’ port, the Falmouth Cruise Pier in Trelawny, was officially opened on Tuesday.The approximately US$ 269 million pier, which is still under construction, also saw the arrival of the world’s largest cruise vessel, Oasis of the Seas, making its inaugural stopover in Jamaica, with about 6,000 passengers and 2,000 crew members on board.Thousands of onlookers watched the arrival of the huge cruise liner, regarded as one of the most innovative and imaginative ships yet. The stopover coincided with the official opening of the pier, established by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), in partnership with Royal Caribbean International, owners of the Oasis of the Seas.Addressing the large crowd at the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Bruce Golding commended Royal Caribbean and the Port Authority, for their investment in the town of Falmouth.“Cabinet gave approval for the project in 2008, and here we are today, some two and a half years later, celebrating this milestone,” Golding said.He said that the port represents a significant level of investment in Falmouth, as well as Jamaica’s tourism, and commended Royal Caribbean for its “unwavering” commitment.“There are many projects, I know, that were launched about the same time and when the global recession hit … (but) despite all of those challenges, Royal Caribbean remained steadfast in their commitment and, today we celebrate the birth of this fantastic facility – the dawn of a new day for Falmouth and Jamaica,” he stated.“If you look around, you will see that there is work in progress, if you walk into the town, work is ongoing, but there is more work that has to be done,” he added.He said that while there were doubts about the project, when he walked through Water Square in Falmouth, he was pleased with the transformation.“To be very honest with you, what I saw when I came this morning, I didn’t know that it would be possible, but the team has done a marvelous job in getting all of that in place”, he noted.The prime minister alluded to the sewerage plan for the town, indicating a need to significantly enhance and improve its capacity. He said that a significant level of investment will have to be made to provide the sewage capacity Falmouth needs, or the town’s system will come under stress.“There are people who are going to want to go to Falmouth, take in Vision 2030 and decide that it is not Jamaica but Falmouth that is the place to live, work, raise your families and do business,” Golding observed.He commended the stakeholders for the tremendous work accomplished in the establishment of the port, and former Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, under whose administration the project was conceptualized.Source: Caribbean News Now!last_img read more

Paul Flanagan becomes 7th head coach to win 400 games

first_img Published on January 26, 2020 at 10:33 pm Contact Gaurav: [email protected] Brynn Koocher’s goal five minutes into the third period against Robert Morris made history. Koocher’s game-winner helped head coach Paul Flanagan earn his 400th-career win, launching him into the record books as one of seven women’s collegiate hockey coaches to reach the milestone.It was the latest building block in his career, one that has a short-term quest to repeat as College Hockey America champions. Flanagan started the Syracuse women’s ice hockey program back in March 2008 and has since turned the program from inexperienced newcomers to contenders. In the almost 12 years Flanagan has been at SU (8-16-1, 7-4-1 CHA), he’s amassed 171 wins. On Jan. 18, his career number reached 400. “I don’t know,” Flanagan said, “Somebody brought it up in the locker room after and I think I just kind of downplayed it.”Flanagan began coaching at his alma mater, St. Lawrence, where he played hockey and served as team captain during his senior year. Six years later, he returned to the Saints as an assistant coach for the men’s team. Flanagan stayed for 11 seasons next to Joe Marsh and then became the head coach of the women’s program when its former coach took the head athletic trainer position with the Saints.In that role, Flanagan excelled. He won 230 games, took his team to five NCAA Frozen Fours — including four straight — and never had a losing season. After the 2000-01 season he was named the American Hockey Coaches Association Coach of the Year, a season the Saints finished second in the NCAA tournament. Flanagan’s first win as head coach was a 4-0 shutout against Mercyhurst on Friday, Oct. 22 1999, when some of his current players weren’t even born.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNine years after his first win, Flanagan came to Syracuse to start a brand-new program, sacrificing wins and delaying individual achievements. But progress didn’t take long. After only two seasons, SU was in the CHA tournament final. From there, the Orange made five finals in seven seasons but lost them all.“I recognize that when I left St. Lawrence we really had it going pretty well you know, the wins were coming in a little bit easier initially and I recognize that coming here and starting from scratch,” Flanagan said. “I certainly wasn’t worried about my win-loss record. You don’t worry about that.”Roshan Fernandez | Asst. Digital EditorThat humility is what has endeared Flanagan to the countless players, coaches and staff that he has worked with over his career. His reputation reached future Orange players before they even came to Syracuse.“Everyone always had good things to say,” Lindsay Eastwood said. “So it was comforting knowing I was gonna be in good hands.”Assistant coach Julie Knerr played almost 150 games in four years as a player at SU and has now been Flanagan’s assistant for two seasons. Associate head coach Brendon Knight has been with the program for eight years. Prior to the 400th win they both said they didn’t think Flanagan even knew about his upcoming milestone.“He was obviously very, very successful in St. Lawrence, they won a lot of games there,” Knight said. “It’s taken us a little longer here, but it just speaks to his longevity and the amount of successful teams he’s had.”I certainly wasn’t worried about my win-loss record. You don’t worry about that.- Head coach Paul Flanagan, downplaying the importance of his 400th winIt all came together last year as SU won their first CHA championship. Flanagan needed 11 years to win and punch his team’s ticket to the NCAA tournament for the first time. After the Orange beat Robert Morris in the conference title game, players began to chant “GOAT” on the team bus. The title stuck and former players now refer to Flanagan as “GOAT.”All six coaches ahead of Flanagan for all-time wins have stayed at the same program over their careers, unlike Flanagan who left St Lawrence. Flanagan credits some of the great players he’s had for many of his wins. But in the week leading up to his eventual victory the record was on his mind, just in a different type of way.“It’s just another sign that I’m old,” Flanagan chuckled. “Yup, that’s just another sign I’m old.”Assistant Sports Editor Mitchell Bannon contributed reporting to this piece. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more