I interned for the campaign’s finance department over the summer. By knowing someone who knew someone they helped get me into the building, and after doing a few weeks of busy work to prove that I was a competent worker, I got my own desk, computer, etc. Then over winter break they hired me to work on the Inauguration, and I ended up co-coordinating tickets sales for that. Along the way I also became friends (unknowingly) with the right people, so I’ll definitely be back with the administration this summer. <P>As for public schools, the problem is a lot bigger than just competition. Funding is a major part of it. Because a school’s budget is determined by property tax in the school’s district, families who can only afford to live in a poor neighborhood pretty much have no choice but to send their children to a horribly under-funded public school. So being poor becomes a vicious cycle because your children are going to most likely be condemned to a poor education. State funding is supposed to fix this problem in the system, but the state currently is simply not giving enough (it’s like 30 some percent right now). Ed believes that before schools can begin to restructure themselves, they need a real budget to work with, and that’s why he wants to bring state funding back up to 50%. Do you really think it’s a coincidence that the larger a budget a school has, the better the quality of the education? The quality of ones public education shouldn’t be based upon how rich you are. His plan for reforming public schools doesn’t end there. He plans on having teachers go through special training and then keeping an eye on them, tracking their progress. He also wants to create programs to get parents more involved in the schools. Reforming the schools truly is one of his top 3 priorities. You can be assured he won’t stop until there are solids results. Personally, I was very impressed this summer when at $5k plate fundraisers where everyone there makes at least $100k a year, instead of trying to convince them that as governor he would make them richer, he only talked about reforming schools. These were people who couldn’t care less, but Ed being too honest as always only wanted to talk about his plans as Governor. If he’s ever in your area (which I suspect will happen quite often), approach him and tell him you want to talk about his plans for public education. He’ll stay until all your questions have been answered. That’s just the kind of guy he is.<P>As for trying to make school’s more competitive through things like vouchers, that’s just simply a pipe dream. Besides taking more money away from already under-funded schools, the money you get from vouchers isn’t enough to cover the cost of private education. In the Philadelphia area, private schools typically cost $8,000-$15,000 a year – Penn State University is less expensive (room, board and books included)! The only place that a voucher would get you into is a Catholic school, and if you don’t want your kids raised Catholic, then that’s obviously not an option.
Well - There it is