To meet the challenges and demands of the new century, we must build an educational system that can enable every child to succeed and reach his or her fullest potential. While progress is being made in the School District of Philadelphia, the proposed Academic Recovery Act will accelerate efforts to bring a first-class education to the city's students, one that is competitive with our suburban neighbors. In addition, the provisions to hold harmless those school districts that are a part of the Recovery Plan will mean that more money is spent per child, not less. The solution, however, is not a quick cash infusion, but a closer examination of school funding issues and the most effective use of taxpayer dollars when a child's education is at stake.
All parents deserve the right to choose the best educational setting for their children, whether public, private or parochial, and further, the state should support their decisions financially.
While some fear the competition brought on by school choice, the business community believes the governor's plan will enhance education in Pennsylvania and, in the long run, strengthen our public schools.
During the last few years, American business has undergone radical change; setting different goals, learning new skills, working harder and smarter, and doing more with less. To compete in the new global economy, employers need a work force and management team with the imagination to conceive of the world differently and more sophisticated skills to implement this vision.
Members of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce stand ready to work with our neighbors and our elected officials to build an educational and work-force development system that will carry Pennsylvania into the 21st century. Our competitiveness, our ability to create jobs and our future quality of life depend upon a well-educated work force. We urge support for the education reform initiative currently before the Legislature.
Charles P. Pizzi is president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.