OPED We owe it to our kids

Frances Wolf
first lady of Pennsylvania
Judge Penny Blackwell, left, of York, congratulates Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf after administering the oath of office,  Tuesday January 20, 2015.  John A. Pavoncello - jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com

Last week my husband received a budget from the state Legislature that falls woefully short of the commitment we have to properly fund our public schools. It fails the people of Pennsylvania, but most importantly, it fails the children of Pennsylvania.

I visited schools across the commonwealth earlier this year. I met with teachers and administrators, and talked with students in the classroom - and saw the same thing in every single school I visited: motivated students and dedicated teachers who simply don't have the resources they need to succeed.

As I have said, Tom and I take education very seriously. As parents of children who were raised in Pennsylvania public schools, this is an issue that hits home for us. We have seen firsthand what it takes to deliver a quality public education to our children.

That is why my husband used his executive authority to veto parts of the budget that was sent to his desk. He took this action to ensure a more responsible budget, while also taking the steps needed to send our schools the emergency funding owed to them through December 31.

The budget he received cuts $95 million from schools, instead of making the historic investments in education that the children of Pennsylvania deserve. This budget continues the trend of underfunding our schools, which is simply unacceptable.

A quality public education system is at the very core of everything we want to achieve as a state. It will help Pennsylvania attract new businesses, retain talent, and grow the middle class. It is crucial to our potential economic growth.

That is why the legislature needs to get back to work and provide the early childhood, special education, basic education, and higher education funding that our children and Pennsylvania need for a better future.

Frances Wolf is the first lady of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania