As Pennsylvania’s budget impasse continues into its sixth month, public schools around the state are feeling significant financial strain.
Without funding, schools are forced to hold out on innovative programs and services that students need in order to even keep their doors open. In the end, it’s the students who suffer from the consequences of this struggle.
So what if the legislature and Governor stopped for just one minute and thought about how their current decisions are affecting Pennsylvania’s future leaders? In this blog originally posted on Global Personalized Academics (GPA), CEO Julie Young discusses the need for adults to make that choice and how GPA is modeling this effort.
The budget crisis in Pennsylvania has put a lot of stress on the school districts, their staffs and ultimately students. It’s been tough to watch over that last few months as new innovative programs and student opportunities have been put on the shelf. Hopefully the impasse will be resolved before the negative impact on students grows.
During this time, it’s more important than ever for the adults to put students first. This is a spirit that has served me well over the last 20+ years. Putting students first means making hard choices. It means meeting students where they are, making all aspects of learning relevant and engaging. It means helping students own their learning and control their pace. It means personalizing the learning for each individual student, even when it’s more work for the adults.
Students first is not the shortcut or the easy road. It is not the comfortable or familiar path. As educators, we too often turn to the way we’ve always done it to justify our choices. But when we really think about students first, magic happens. Learning happens. Progress happens.
For GPA, putting students first means providing the services our Pennsylvania partner districts need, regardless of their ability to pay the bill. Starting today we are deferring payment on any new online courses, teacher training and student instruction for all Pennsylvania districts in our network, as well as new Pennsylvania districts interested in joining.
After the budget impasse is settled, districts have their funding and students are enjoying opportunities again, then we’ll make business our priority. But until then it’s #StudentsFirst.
Pennsylvania educators can learn more here.
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