#1 Mar 20, 2011
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Believe it or not, James P. Testerman, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, is urging teachers to "seriously consider" Gov. Tom Corbett's request for a one-year pay freeze. Now, taxpayers must pressure school boards and PSEA's local unions to make good on his surprising but welcome entreaty.
Mr. Testerman hopes the governor's proposed $1 billion-plus cut in school funding can be avoided. He says freezing teacher pay "alone will not be enough." But he nevertheless is encouraging PSEA local presidents to discuss with school boards "a pay freeze or other cost-saving measures to maintain class sizes and academic programs."
Having seen "$4 billion deficit" written on Pennsylvania's budget wall, some boards already are budgeting to live within reduced means. Testerman's call should help them do that -- and without raising taxes, as Gov. Corbett has urged.
Districts that don't take advantage of greater PSEA flexibility will only bolster Corbett's case against state exemptions that let school boards avoid voter referendums on tax hikes exceeding inflation, which state law otherwise requires.
Talk is cheap. The true test of PSEA's newfound cooperative spirit will be whether its members actually share taxpayers' pain.
Read more: The PSEA's entreaty - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtri...
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