Letters to the editor

Harrisburg is in the midst of budget season, and we have the opportunity to fully equip our students with the staff, resources and support they need to succeed. We have a fair funding formula. We have a record budget surplus. We have dedicated educators willing to go the extra mile for our students.

While most of us agree on what we want, a lot of legislators lack the courage to fulfill our demands. Somewhere along the way, our elected leaders lost sight of the concept of the public good — those things that we invest in because we are committed to our collective success, and that of our children.

While far-right legislators seemingly have nothing to offer students who need more school counselors, more summer programming and funding for special education services, they instead offer division. Unwilling to buck the National Rifle Association to keep our students safe, they offer broadsides against transgender students and “critical race theory,” neither of which I believe they understand.

Why is it that the adults in the room are more concerned with protecting our students from Black history than from gunmen? More interested in picking on queer youth than funding special education?

It’s up to us to declare that our young people are more important than our divisions, more important than political donations.

Legislators, fund our children’s education fully. This is the year to do it; let’s get it done.

Ismail Smith-Wade-El

President of Lancaster City Council

Democratic candidate, 49th Legislative District

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