Crestwood parents urged to become advocates for education funding

By Tom Huntington - For Times Leader

WRIGHT TWP. — Susan Spicka told Crestwood School District taxpayers Thursday they can help solve their funding problem by becoming active citizens and voting regularly for candidates sympathetic to their cause.

Spicka, who is the executive director of a Philadelphia-based organization known as Education Voters of Pennsylvania, said the lack of state funding is “severe and widespread.” One of the ways to attack it is to “get people working for education,” she advised.

She urged parents of students to “talk up” advocacy during the summer months and then in the fall vote for candidates who are committed to helping public schools.

The message comes at a time when the district narrowly avoided laying off multiple teachers for the 2018-19 school term due to a budget crunch.

During the meeting, held in the auditorium of Crestwood High School, Spicka used a video presentation to emphasize research that she believes shows how state schools are being short-changed.

“We need Harrisburg to increase reimbursement by $3 billion,” she said.

She also referred to research that shows Crestwood is one of the “lowest spending districts” in the state but “one of the highest in student performance.”

She said in comparison to other districts, Crestwood’s real estate taxes are relatively low but it gets “good student performance from its investment.”

State representatives Gerald Mullery, D-Newport Township, Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, and Mike Carroll, D-Avoca, attended the presentation.

Last week, Crestwood’s school board voted to approve a proposed $40 million final budget that includes a 5.5 percent tax hike.
Lack of state funding ‘severe and widespread’

By Tom Huntington

For Times Leader