Usually it works like this—you get a job and if you don’t fulfill the requirements of that job you get booted. Immediately. Not so in the state of Pennsylvania where the senators serve for four years and the representatives for two; regardless of job performance. If it were up to me, I would fire the whole lot (including Gov. Ed Rendell) and replace them with people who could get the state budget passed. Perhaps those firemen who run Congress on the Nextel Direct Connect commercial?
So I guess we’ll have to wait until the term limits are up for our state senators and representatives to “fire” them. Sigh.
And do you know who’s really suffering through this budget crisis? It’s the people. Sure, the governor and the rest of his cronies are suffering in popularity polls, but they can still drive their fancy cars to work and go home to their cushy mansions not worrying about from where their next paycheck will come (after all, they always vote themselves a pay raise). Nope, it’s the poor state workers who provide vital services for the commonwealth that haven’t been paid for the last month. Fortunately, Gov. Rendell did sign a measure on Aug. 5 so state workers would be paid for their hard work. Of course, with all the back pay, they’ll probably have to pay higher taxes to the state for earning more income. Nice. Personally, I believe the Congressmen’s wages should be sacked for every day they fail to produce a budget. They’re the ones not getting the job done!
A little over a month ago, I wrote about the proposed budget cuts for the state libraries (“Librarians Added to State Endangered Species List“) and now due to the impasse, private child care centers may have to shut their doors since they won’t receive funding for the state to provide care for low-income families. Naturally, this also puts a huge burden on low-income families who need childcare so they can work. Undoubtedly, if this crisis continues there may be some temporary lay-offs for child care workers—I think we should send them to Harrisburg to baby-sit all these whiny Congressmen.
Another program, Community Services for Children (CSC), which subsidizes early education for pre-schoolers for low-income families will have to delay the start of their fall programming. Here’s a blurb from a recent Morning Call article: “Leaders of Community Services for Children announced that they must delay the start of school for at least a month for 233 children. Dozens of pre-school teachers, bus drivers and others will be furloughed.” (Read full article.) CSC subsidies also offer nutrition (quality meals), medical care, and other services necessary not only to the education of children, but to their health and well-being.
I asked my mother, a retired kindergarten teacher with 32 years of experience under her belt, what these cuts could mean to children entering kindergarten. She told me that without adequate education, many of these children don’t know how to interact with their peers, are unable to focus on teaching stories discussions, can’t identity colors, numbers or letters, and lack fine motor skills preventing them from being able to something as basic as properly holding a crayon or scissors.
She said, “The gap between the children who have had a pre-school experience and those whose parents have not been able to afford one or haven’t been provided with one is immense. Time is spent in remediation for these areas, rather than further developing them.”
They say that time is money, yet many people can’t afford the time the Pennsylvania State Government is taking to pass a budget. Worse yet, they cannot afford the proposed cuts to social services. Unfortunately, those making the decisions for Pennsylvanians won’t be directly affected. That is, until election time rolls around.