Pattye Benson

Community Matters

PA Students Voice

United We Stand, Underfunded We Fail . . . Sen. Andy Dinniman Joins the Student’s Voices

PA Students' VoiceUnited We Stand, Underfunded We Fail . . . they are the collective voice of the students of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

A firestorm is raging on college campuses across Pennsylvania. College students feel the pain as Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget calls for state funding to state-owned universities to be slashed nearly in half. The 14 colleges and universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education will see their funding reduced from $444 million to $232 million if Corbett’s proposed budget passes. If Pennsylvania cuts education funding, the students lose. With tuition hikes as high as $2,200 per year if Corbett’s cuts stand, plus cuts to financial aid, many students say they will not be able to attend school next fall.

Representing themselves as the ‘voices of the future’, the students are organizing protest rallies on college campuses across the state. Using social media tools, Twitter, Facebook, website, the students are hoping that their message reaches Corbett.

Locally, this past week, State Senator Andy Dinniman attended and spoke at PA Students Voice rally at West Chester University and made a commitment to stand with the students and professors, in opposition of the higher education budget cuts proposed by Corbett.

In his latest press release, Dinniman said, “Governor Corbett’s cuts mean increased tuition and fees, fewer classes, greater student borrowing and debt and more people on the unemployment rolls. By slashing support for higher education by more than 50 percent, we’re effectively undermining our potential for long-term growth in challenging economic times. Without a doubt, the governor’s proposed cuts would be devastating to West Chester University and the 13 other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education colleges and universities,” Dinniman said. “For a West Chester student, tuition and fees could jump by $2,100 from around $7,600 to $9,700 a year.”

A former college professor, Dinniman believes in public education. Hosting a rally on the courthouse steps on Wednesday, April 20, at 7 PM, Sen. Dinniman encourages students and their families, professors, university employees and all who care about public education to join him and voice their opposition to the proposed funding cuts.

An elected official who is listening to the community and standing with them . . . how refreshing! United We Stand, Underfunded We Fail!

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