Public-education advocacy group endorses Onorato

Posted: October 14, 2010

Calling him "the education candidate," a public-school advocacy group endorsed Democrat Dan Onorato for governor Wednesday afternoon.

Education Voters of Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group based in Philadelphia, said it preferred Onorato over Republican Tom Corbett because of his support for gradually raising state funding for most school districts according to a formula first approved by the legislature in 2008.

Corbett has said he does not support increased funding because of budget crises that the state faces in the next few years.

Education Voters, though small and founded just two years ago, said it would communicate its support for Onorato with the thousands of people across the state on its contact list.

"We are dedicated to putting pro-public education candidates into office, and Dan is committed to promoting equity," group president Susan Gobreski said from the steps of the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown.

A handful of Onorato staffers and education group supporters attended the endorsement. Across the street, a few smokers watched from the plaza of the county office building.

Onorato said backing public education was part of his plan for creating jobs.

"A big part of jobs is education - educating the workforce of the future," he said.

Onorato supports a bill that would permit low-income students in failing public schools to obtain vouchers they could use to attend other public schools or private schools. Corbett also supports that bill, but most public-education advocates do not.

The group was willing to support Onorato despite his backing of limited vouchers. Gobreski said: "We disagree with him on that. But overall we think his position on public education has been very strong and very thoughtful."

Contact staff writer Tom Infield

at 610-313-8205 or

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