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An open letter to Pennsylvania Families and Voters
Sep 12, 2022

Education Alert! The following open letter signed by 79 school board members from across the state shows the high stakes in the November 8 election. If the R candidate, Doug Mastriano, becomes Governor, his plan is to slash already insufficient state support for public education, thereby precipitating a crisis in both education and property taxes. The D candidate, Josh Shapiro, on the other hand, promises to “fully fund our schools—especially those that have been chronically underfunded— and make critical investments we need like attracting and retaining quality teachers, repairing old and dangerously unhealthy buildings, and keeping pace with changing technology so our students are prepared for the future.”

Read on for the views of public officials whose job is to ensure the future of our community, state and country by educating tomorrow’s adults:

We, the undersigned, are elected School Board Directors tasked with ensuring that students across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have access to a world-class public education that prepares them for life-long success. We are Democrats and Republicans, parents, grandparents, educators, students, from all walks of life, from all races and religions, and from all corners of Pennsylvania. But we have one thing in common – we all support the fair funding of public education. 

We strive to put our responsibilities as stewards of the public education systems in our respective school districts ahead of politics. We will work with anyone from any party if they share our goal of strengthening public education in Pennsylvania. 

Unfortunately, it has become clear to us that one of the candidates seeking the office of Governor of Pennsylvania not only disagrees with our goal of a strong public education system, he has publicly committed to destroying it. Doug Mastriano’s statements about making historic cuts to public education – pledging to cut more than 50% of state funding – are dangerously out of touch with the vast majority of Pennsylvania families. Moreover, his cuts threaten our children’s well-being, our financial well-being, and the overall well-being of communities across the Commonwealth.

Beyond the devastating impact to our students, these cuts would cause immediate mass layoffs of hardworking teachers and staff, from classroom aides to bus drivers to janitors to cafeteria workers. It would force massive property tax increases and have a ripple effect hurting businesses across Pennsylvania. There is no justification for such extreme measures and we are shocked that a major party candidate would even consider them, much less make them a central tenet of his campaign.

While there are many issues on which we are divided in this election, there is one that should unite us all: the funding of our public education system is not a political pawn. As schools start and students from Easton to Erie gear up for another year of learning, we urge all Pennsylvanians to support a candidate who believes education is central to a bright future. In this election, that candidate is Josh Shapiro. 

With best wishes for a fulfilling school year,

Scott Overland Phoenixville Area School District
Beth Sviben Central Dauphin School District
Mike Faccinetto Bethlehem Area School District
Karen Beck Pooley Bethlehem Area School District
Dr. Damary Bonilla-Rodriguez East Stroudsburg Area School District
Erica L. Hermans Spring-Ford Area School District
Jamie Piotrowski Pittsburgh Public School District 
Jackie Huff State College Area School District
Shannon Patrick Bethlehem Area School District 
Jerry Weiss Phoenixville Area School District
Paul Friel Owen J Roberts School District
Deanne Moyer Morris Wissahickon School District 
Christopher Jaramillo Norristown Area School District
Deborah Ann Spence Pottstown School District
Emily Root Schenkel Bethlehem Area School District
Abby Deardorff Spring-Ford Area School District
Monica D’Antonio Norristown Area School District 
Caryn Ghrayeb Downingtown Area School District 
Madhu Gurthy  Downingtown Area School District
Rosetta Chiavacci  Wissahickon School District
Caitlyn Carminito Phoenixville Area School District
Victoria Walker Phoenixville Area School District
Jay Breneman City of Erie School District
Shameeka Browne Abington School District
Amy Bader State College Area School District
Peter Buck State College Area School District
Katina Bearden  Pottstown School District 
Laura Johnson Pottstown School District
Jennifer Iannitti Upper Dublin School District
Daryl Durnell West Chester Area School District
John J Armato Pottstown School District 
Mark Bowden Kennett Consolidated

School District

Al Roesch North Penn School District
Meredith Hegg Upper Darby School District
Susan Lawrence Pottstown School District
Lauren VonStetten Columbia Borough School District 
Charles Leader Columbia Borough School District
Sarah Evans-Brockett Perkiomen Valley School District
Brian P. Fox Octorara Area School District
Nancy Wilt Allentown School District
Charles F. Thiel Allentown School District
Lisa A. Conover Allentown School District
Damien Christopher Warsavage Upper Darby School District
Rachel Mitchell Upper Darby School District
Laura Detre  West Chester Area School District
LeeAnn Wisdom Downingtown Area School District
Dcon Fields Upper Darby School District
Steven Lurry East Stroudsburg Area School District 
Neil Desnoyers Upper Darby School District
Dr. Leatra Tate City of Erie School District
Rita Pederson Owen J Roberts School District
Robert Kelly Rose Tree Media School District
Jennifer Munson Owen J Roberts School District
Bill Wood Avon Grove School District
Lisa Strobridge  Downingtown Area School District
Mindy Ross Downingtown Area School District
Hillary Fletcher Rose Tree Media School District
Michelle Schamis  Phoenixville Area School District 
Ken Dinitz Rose Tree Media School District
Audrey Mathison Allentown School District
David Harmanos Owen J Roberts School District
April Saboe Owen J Roberts School District
Marissa Dell Norristown Area School District
Cynthia Wirth Norristown Area School District 
Sharon Mauch Norristown Area School District
Laura White Perkiomen Valley School District 
Phil Daniels Norristown Area School District
Nicholas Hanahan ??Sharpsville Area School District
Mark Detterline Reading School District
Patricia Wright Reading School District
Joe Appel Carlynton School District
Nick Philippides Reading School District
Patricia Law Reading School District
Karen Fleming West Chester Area School District
Jonathan Tinoco Reading School District
Dan Grzybek Bethel Park School District
Sharon Janosik Bethel Park School District
Dr. Jamina Clay Colonial School District
Liz Sheehan New Hope-Solebury School District
Office Hours:
Mon – Thur 10AM-3PM

37 South High St.
    West Chester, PA 19382

(610) 692-5811

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