Ed Rendell and Education Reform

Ed Rendell and Educational Reform

For Governor Ed Rendell reforming/ funding education is one of his key issues. He has an educational reform plan, in which he wants to raise the amount of funding for the public schools, and educational programs. What comes into question is how will his plans be paid for, and will taxes have to go up, for his plans go into effect or to be continued.

During his current term he has increased funding for public schools by over
1.8 million dollars. According to Rendell the 1.8 billion that was provided by the state, has taken pressure off local school districts. In-turn many towns and cities do not need to raise taxes. His plan may have helped some school districts, but not all. Some school districts are still struggling, and towns and cities are still raising taxes. The funding that the states give to school districts comes from state taxes, so the more money that the schools get, the more taxes that Pennsylvanians have to pay. Which will lead to an increase in local or state taxes or both?

For Rendell, education must start early, and investments in early childhood education are key components in helping children succeed. Forty million dollars has already been invested in the Head Start Program, which provides early childhood education for under-privileged children. Two hundred million dollars in block grants has also been provided. For school districts that have established programs that help improve early childhood education. Pennsylvania is now surpassed other states in funding early childhood education. The earlier that we start investing in our children’s education the more they will learn and the higher chance that they will succeed. Introducing programs that prepare children for school need to be in place like head Start.

Other programs that Rendell wants to invest in are the idea of class size reduction. More then 20,000 elementary school children are in smaller classes. The average size classes should be around 20-24 students, some class have less some have more. If we reduce the number of students, teachers can be more hands on with more students, and can help more students. Shrinking the number of students in each classroom will also lead to more teaching openings. The only conflict that this plan has is that many schools have limited classroom space, and many classrooms will still remain over crowded. But many schools are solving this issue by either remodeling the present school building or building new schools. Which in-turn will lead to a raise in tax, either at the local or state level?

Rendell not only wants to reduce class size and increase funds for early child education, but also wants to provide more funds for tutoring programs. During his first term in office, over sixty-six million dollars has already been invested in providing tutoring programs. Basically the program will help children improve on their skills and help them to succeed rather then fail. This program should be implemented at all levels of the public school system. The number one reason why high school students drop out is because they can not do the work. If we get these students who are really struggling, some help them may to decide to stay in school…

Besides providing funds for early childhood, Rendell wants to continue to invest in High Schools. He wants to upgrade equipment, like providing laptops in for every student in every English, math, science, and social studies classes. His goal is to start this program in the coming year. Having technology in the classroom is great and it allows students to be more hand-on. But for every classroom to have computers will cost a lot of money, and again we go back to the issue of raising taxes. Still many companies to donate computers and technological equipment to schools. If Rendell offers a tax break for companies, and business and the public in general more people will be inclined to donate either new or used equipment. For this plan to work in will depends on raising taxes, and donations from business, and the public in general.

Many colleges now are offering student’s college credits while they are still in high school. In many cases it is the schools or the states that are paying for these courses. Basically what Rendell wants to do is rise the funding for this program and allows more students to take advantage of the program.

Not only has Rendell provided funding for public schools, he also wants to provide tax breaks and scholarships for all college bound students. Thirty-eight million has already been provided for college students over the past four years. The Governor has also made college savings programs tax free, giving families a twenty-five million- dollar tax cut. Rendell has also dramatically improved community college funding, by providing more then fifty-four million dollars educational programs. The programs that the state is investigating in are programs that train Pennsylvanians for well-paying jobs in high-demand fields. Hey I am a college student and the less money that I have to pay for school I am all for it. But this plan will also allow more and more people attend college, and help them to improve their lives

The majority of the reforms that Rendell wants are basically continuations of plans that he established during his current term in office. For Rendell’s educational reforms to be continued, he needs money. The money will have to come from state taxes, and even federal aid. When it comes to taxes most people feel they are paying too much. The reason why their local taxes are so high in many cases is to help keep the schools running. Still Pennsylvania’s educational system ranks 10th in the nation and the state must be doing something right. For the state to stay in top ten, proper educational programs need to be place, and funds to be put into the proper places.

Sarah Keppen