‘I know what’s best for our education system’

Government makes hefty decisions, lacks modern education experience

Carly Park and Hannah Shumsky

Pennsylvania legislature has been in charge of educational decisions since March 10, 1949 when the Public School Code of 1949 was passed to limit those decisions made by the Department of Education. The Public School Code was originally intended to give the government power over local school districts along with making sure they were being built on specified land and spending specified amounts of taxes, though it has gone through many reformations with one of the biggest being the Common Core Act of 2001. Now government officials, like Rep. Seth M. Grove, who represent the Public School Code of 1949, have gained more power over decisions like senior projects, school hours, school days required, general breaks allotted and more with no experience in the modern school environment.

This act has also affected various things within our own school district. Last year, unless part of a week-long exempted fundraiser, students were not permitted to sell Anderson’s candy bars anytime before 2:30 p.m., an annual Freedom tradition with the surplus of clubs that needed to raise money for different field trips, uniforms and sports equipment. Students were originally outraged, not able to comprehend why something so sweet and delicious could possibly be taken away without reason. They didn’t seem to understand why budgets were being reduced, classes were being cut and school food continued to lose its already nonexistent taste.

Other drastic government decisions, directly related to food issues, were linked to the president and the first lady themselves. Michelle Obama originally introduced her “Let’s Move!” campaign back in February 2010. One of the drastic changes noticed by students was the change in school lunches. Portions were deemed to be smaller and several items were wiped from the menu completely. Cafeteria staff were no longer allowed to cook with certain ingredients removing vital flavors from many items like different chicken meals, baked beans, french fries and apple sauces, just to name a few. Drinks were also reduced to low or non-fat.

Pennsylvania Senate decided to make another change to graducation. Each student of a Pennsylvania public school district is required to take four different Keystone state exams: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science. Any child recognized to graduate 2017 or later is required to pass to graduate. If students don’t pass on their first attempt, they are directed into remediation classes and forced to take them over and over until a state-desired score is attained.