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Chester, Montgomery County, PA November 6, 2012 Election
Smart Voter


By Christopher J. Amentas

Candidate for State Senator; Pennsylvania State Senate; District 19

This information is provided by the candidate
Fixing our public schools is not an easy task and will not be accomplished overnight. However, I am certain changes may be implemented which would, at the very least, result in getting our schools back on the right path.
1. Focus dollars on the classroom - and on the education of our children - not on bureaucratic programs. We can do that by giving local school boards more flexibility and reducing mandates from Harrisburg.

2. Reform tenure. Tenure should be harder to obtain. Good teachers (rather than merely "satisfactory" one) should be eligible for tenure after five years, not three, years.

3. Offer a real choice for students and parents. True school choice + especially in the state's worst performing districts -- encourage schools to compete with one another, and that creates incentives that will improve education, challenge teachers and administrators, and allow our children to learn and thrive. For those trapped in consistently broken schools, this choice may be the only option to a brighter future.

4. Give school districts real tools to terminate bad teachers. The prospect of protracted, expensive legal battles deters school districts from acting in the best interest of students. Once it is clear to the administration that a teacher is ineffective, it should not be practically impossible to replace that teacher. Disciplinary processes should be simplified and streamlined; yet remain fully transparent and continue to give teachers a full and fair opportunity to defend themselves, without risk of being politically "railroaded."

Because we value education as much as we do, teachers would remain, compared to other states, very well-compensated and protected. Pennsylvania teaching positions would remain highly attractive, and our area would continue to attract some of the best and brightest teachers in the nation.

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