July 13, 2024


Education, What Else?

What Democratic Midterm Victories Mean for Pennsylvania’s Schools

5 min read
What Democratic Midterm Victories Mean for Pennsylvania’s Schools

We can breathe a sigh of aid.

Fascism was defeated at the polls.

Christian nationalism, snake oil salesmen and angertainment all fell to the energy of the ballot at this week’s midterm election in Pennsylvania.

Democrat Josh Shapiro conquer far ideal Republican Doug Mastriano for Governor.

John Fetterman beat truth Tv set star Dr. Mehmet Oz for Senator.

And a host of community grassroots progressives triumphed from Summer season Lee turning out to be the 1st black woman ever elected from our condition to the Residence to Lindsay Williams retaining her seat in the state legislature. Even Austin Davis (my state consultant) will come to be the 1st black Lt. Governor in the Commonwealth.

And most astonishing, the point out dwelling may perhaps have even flipped to Democratic control following many years in Republican fingers. (There are even now a couple races that are as well close to phone.)

All-in-all, it was a good night. Particularly in an election cycle the place Republicans had just about every advantage. The President’s bash usually loses seats throughout the midterms, and just last week it appeared that Joe Biden would be no exception. Having said that, now that the dust has cleared, the losses appear to be to be minimal to nonexistent.

So what does it all imply for our state’s faculties and the potential of our kids’ educations?

To start with, we can anticipate significantly less crazy policy proposals and these that are set forward will have up coming to zero likelihood of passing.

No extra problems about our presently meager instruction funding getting minimize in 50 %.

No extra fears of Florida’s regressive “Don’t Say Gay” legislation proscribing cost-free speech coming to the Keystone state.

The Vital Race Theory panic (A.K.A. – teaching actual background) will fade to just yet another wing nut conspiracy idea thrown to the Republican base to deliver assist instead of an genuine plan proposal to prohibit academic independence.

I suspect a great deal of the baseless hysteria Republicans had been shouting from the rafters will minimize as pollsters display them how ineffective it was in obtaining votes that weren’t now staunchly GOP.

For the first time in several years, Republicans may have to push toward the heart rather of frequently to the lunatic fringe. If not, they’ll keep on to drop.

Next, we may in fact see some beneficial education and learning procedures make their way by the condition legislature.

Shapiro has promised to increase education funding. That and the nonetheless pending court docket decision on a lawsuit against the point out demanding ample funding could be sufficient to turn the funding faucet on a couple cranks. With Democrats holding an escalating share of seats, all it usually takes is a several average Republicans (are they out there?) to join them to get matters finished.

On the other hand, it isn’t all wine and roses.

All through the typical election, Shapiro came out in favor of some school voucher courses. This places him to the proper of our latest Governor Tom Wolf. So we can look ahead to our new Governor supporting an raise for tax credit rating scholarships and other de facto voucher ideas that will drain general public education coffers just as we’re performing to improve them.

It is also anyone’s guess no matter if a pro-voucher Governor would assist charter university reform – some thing we desperately require and that Wolf championed throughout his tenure.

And however both Wolf and Shapiro criticized standardized screening, it would just take a mightily knowledgeable and courageous state politician to go up from the economic powerhouse of the testing field.

In shorter, the election primarily suggests we do not have to be concerned about as numerous flaming meteorites crashing down on our schools.

Things could possibly even get much better here and there – in particular with further funding.

Even so, we will have to watch our associates as if they were being minimal kids sulking by the cookie jar. They will pretty much absolutely consider to sneak in some garbage laws to damage our learners and enrich their company buddies.

When we seem at the national scenario, it seems a lot the very same. Even with Fetterman heading to the Senate, it is unclear whether or not Democrats will have control of either legislative overall body. Even if they do, the majority will be razor slender.

A sturdy Democratic Social gathering decided to enact progressive laws could make a great deal of this sort of a problem, but as we have seen in the earlier, that is not the circumstance with the existing management.

The most we can realistically hope for is that they set a prevent to insane GOP laws.

The query is irrespective of whether we can build on such Democratic gains at both the state and nationwide degree. Normally that does not occur. But it will have to be the objective moving forward.

Halting the worst is a worthy aim but it are not able to be everything. We will have to continue to thrust our representatives to make true development and correct the gradual and regular drip of fascism, corporatism and Christian nationalism that has dominated our politics for considerably far too prolonged.

So allow us rejoice a deserving election cycle although we prepare for all the political battles nevertheless to come.

A sigh of relief, a renewed combating stance and back again into the fray.

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I’ve also penned a e-book, “Gadfly on the Wall: A Community Faculty Teacher Speaks Out on Racism and Reform,” now accessible from Garn Push. 10 p.c of the proceeds go to the Badass Teachers Affiliation. Look at it out!


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