Wednesday, March 10, 2010

PSEA PAC endorses Onorato

from the inbox:

The Pennsylvania State Education Association’s Political Action Committee for Education endorsed gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato today in Philadelphia. PSEA, the largest education employee organization in the state, represents nearly 200,000 educators in public schools and state higher education institutions, as well as retired educators, college students preparing for careers in education and nurses in healthcare facilities. Onorato currently serves as Allegheny County Executive.

“Dan Onorato shares our belief that the power of a great education can result in strong schools, successful children and vibrant communities,” Testerman said.

“We interviewed every candidate who was interested in our support,” PSEA President James P. Testerman said. “In the end, we recommended the candidate who most shared our vision for education, and on issues that matter to our members. Dan believes, as our members do, that education is essential to the economic security of Pennsylvania families, and a quality education system begins with state government living up to its responsibility to fund public schools.”

As Governor, Onorato will work to provide all Pennsylvania students with the high-quality education that is essential to success in our global economy. To provide every child with the education they need and deserve, Onorato will:

· Fulfill the state’s responsibility for adequate school funding – and keep the burden off local property taxes;
· Provide high-quality early childhood care and education;
· Create an environment where students can learn;
· Addressing the needs of at-risk students and struggling schools; and
· Ensure that students graduate ready for success in college and the workforce.

“Our public schools are an essential part of my plan to grow Pennsylvania’s economy and ensure a highly skilled workforce,” Onorato said, “I am proud to have the support of the more than 191,000 teachers and education support professionals in PSEA, who spend each and every day preparing the next generation of Pennsylvanians.”

PSEA was founded in 1852 in response to the need for schoolteachers to communicate across the state, to share information and techniques, and the desire to convert teaching from a transient job to a true profession. Today, the organization represents teachers, maintenance employees, nurses, retirees, custodians, secretaries, classroom aides, school psychologists and librarians, and it advocates for children, public schools, and its members. PSEA’s vision is to be the preeminent voice for education and the leading force for labor in Pennsylvania.

PSEA is the third major statewide labor organization to endorse Onorato, joining the United Steelworkers and the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters in their support. The announcement comes two weeks after the Pittsburgh Building Trades announced their endorsement and one month after Onorato received the support of three local Service Employee International Unions.

As a member of Pittsburgh’s City Council representing the North Side, Onorato saw the positive impact of high-quality childhood education on children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Onorato brought his commitment to ensuring that all children receive a good start in school to his role as Allegheny County Executive, where he championed programs that increase literacy and that provide academic, after-school and social service support to the county’s families.