Pennsbury Education Association

The Pennsbury School District sits at a crossroad, and the decisions made today will determine the future of the District for years to come. There are those who sit as School Directors who have decided that regardless of increasing costs they will never vote for a tax increase. Certainly that position is one that some taxpayers would avidly support. To those people, they have made their case that education in Pennsbury is too expensive and is bloated by greedy teachers and their pensions. Mr. Wiesel stated this in his twelve-point letter read into the record of the October meeting and posted on the Pennsbury School District Website. He stated that the teachers, in exposing to the public the proposals and positions this Board has taken, were simply trying to “get the public riled up” and that PEA “is attempting to generate hysteria about a number of issues.” Well, let me state that nothing is further from the truth and all the Board has to do is state that they do not, have not and will not continue with their proposals and positions as stated in our flyer which we have handed out to the community. Their failure to state otherwise will only reinforce that the items on that flyer are the direction this Board is taking Pennsbury, direction that the teacher’s of Pennsbury can no longer support by our silence.

Here are the realities of Pennsbury that this Board has so often discussed. In the last several years this Board has made several decisions that have severely impacted education at Pennsbury. First they have committed to a 0% tax increase and refused to accept the exceptions given to them by the Governor and Legislature in an effort to make the CAP restrictions less damaging to school districts. This failure to utilize the fiscal tools available to them has placed a strangle hold around the District creating a need for cuts and consolidations that have devastating implications for the students of the District. Mr. Wiesel in his third point said that the signs worn at the teacher’s recent Rally for Education stating the elimination of 5 pm buses, a decision that affects your child, was “untrue,” yet a letter was sent to teachers discussing this very proposal at the beginning of this school year. Perhaps the Board was not aware of this, but that seems very unlikely; rather, it would seem like the Board would rather operate without the public’s knowledge until it is too late to stop their actions. Already the 3:45 buses are a thing of the past, and the buses between the high schools have disappeared creating a need to extend walking time to ten minutes between classes, and the Board continues to move toward outsourcing of buses entirely. This move to outsource busing has been costly and dangerous for neighboring districts, where children sit waiting for buses that never arrive and when they do the private drivers answer to a for profit company rather than the community they serve. To further the damage they want to sell the buses so there is no return after the decision is made.