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Letter: Simmons Denies Truth About Education Funding Cuts

Mark Spengler criticizes state Rep. Justin Simmons (R-131) in the following letter to the editor.

To the Editor:

In 2011 Governor Tom Corbett and the Republicans enacted massive cuts to public education. According to the incumbent representative from the 131st district, it is all just a lie. Justin Simmons has repeatedly claimed that he and his party actually increased education spending while the one-time federal stimulus money simply ran out. A simple review of the facts shows otherwise.

Two significant examples of state education dollars being eliminated were the $259 million block grant ($100 million was eventually restored) and the total elimination of the 30 percent charter school reimbursement. Other programs that were axed included duel enrollment, tutoring assistance and the distinguished educator program. It should also be understood that not replacing the stimulus dollars that went toward education was a choice. According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, the GOP chose to replace the federal stimulus money in the corrections budget. Apparently prisons were given priority over education.

Citizens last year were understandably concerned about the effects of the education cuts and on March 8 a community forum was held at Lehigh County Community College. Unlike some of the other area lawmakers, Justin Simmons did not attend. However, Simmons did make himself available to speak at a Feb. 21 school choice event in Emmaus where he once again denied that his party had cut education. It will be up to the voters in November to decide if they would like to hold Mr. Simmons accountable.

Mark Spengler

Lower Macungie Township

sqwat tingdog October 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Bob Thomas, we live by this thing called a Constitution, which means you have to follow rules, like innocent until proven guilty...habeas corpus. You can accuse anyone of anything. It has to be true.
Mary Anne Looby October 10, 2012 at 02:21 PM
@Paula, I think that having the parents take over is a great idea. You can figure out how to pay for your childs edcation without forcing (by way of real estate taxes) those of us who no longer use the public school system, or like so many of us, never did because we prefered to sacrifice and send our kids to private or semi-private schools. We've all paid our share, now you can take on the burden of doing without.
Rob Hamill October 10, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Mark, you are correct about sharing the blame with the Ridge administration and the state house in 2001 that was republican. The enemy that you don't recognize is more dangerous than the enemy that you do recognize. The problem is now we are on a path towards bankruptcy and there is not enough money to fulfill wish lists and status quo, so when you complain over the small pieces of budgets, you miss the big picture--- we are going broke and the system is at risk. Unless we want a commonwealth with the best paid public retirees in the country and a broken down populus, we need to attack the problem in ways not tried before. We need out of the public pension guarantee. That is the issue, not picaune little details of public sector complaints.
Bob Thomas October 12, 2012 at 04:20 AM
You are right Mr Deely is innocent of a crime. What he is guilty of is being someone in their 30's at an education conference who would allow people to engage in illegal activity in his room. If he couldn't stand up to his teacher buddies to tell them to stop smoking pot in HIS room, how is he going to stand up to them in Harrisburg? No back bone, lack of judgement, lack of will, wants to finally be part of the cool crowd. Take your pick but a leader he is not. And we can not afford another person who just wants to get along representing us in Harrisburg. If you can't say no to pot what else won't he say no to?
careless fills October 12, 2012 at 08:24 AM
of course there's no drug testing

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