Casey, Pashinski and local educators push for America’s family plan

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Local lawmakers joined educators in the Wilkes-Barre area school district online Wednesday to advocate for President Joe Biden’s U.S. plan for families, arguing that the support it would provide to schools and families could reshaping the state.

Biden’s $ 1.8 trillion proposal has garnered public support in some areas, but fierce criticism from Tories and Republicans is skeptical of the hefty price tag and the vast list of things he pays. including at least four years of offering a free community college, creating a paid national family and medical leave program, establishing a universal preschool, and expanding or expanding tax credits for parents and families who work.

State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski D-Wilkes-Barre moderated the online discussion, introducing the others.

Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti said the COVID-19 pandemic has “laid bare the facts of what it’s like to be a family” these days, showing that “in the northeast from Pennsylvania we have so many struggling families.

“We can’t miss this opportunity to solve structural problems, to address the root causes of poverty,” Cognetti said, and the American Families Plan is doing it.

Laurel Run Borough Mayor Justin Correll, who is also principal of Solomon Plains Elementary School in the Wilkes-Barre School District, focused on the proposed increase in the availability of preschool services, saying he is It is clear that a quality preschool increases a child’s development and, in the long run, reduces retention rates. He also argued that the proposed financial support for teacher training is necessary to compensate for a growing shortage of staff in “high-need areas such as teachers and special education services”.

Correll said the plan would help turn young children from “scribblers to scholars.”

U.S. Senator Bob Casey, D-Scranton, has pushed the plan from the start and has often pushed proposed elements of the plan separately in the past. He noted that no Republican senator was crossing the aisle in support of Biden’s COVID-19 bailout, which provided for direct payments to adults and extended child and dependent tax credits as well as childcare credits. Extended Earned Income Tax for Middle Class Families.

Arguing that the two measures help lift millions of people out of poverty but are only short-lived as part of the bailout, he noted that the family plan extends those benefits for at least several years.

“It’s been a long time, a long time ago. We’ve had about 40 years of a rigged federal tax code for businesses and wealthy families, ”Casey said.

Wilkes-Barre Area Kistler first-grade teacher Susan Augello-Kuhl said she saw firsthand the benefits of providing many of the plan’s items, including healthy meals for all children. and technology so that students can be exposed to new options early.

“I see a lot of students who don’t eat a healthy breakfast struggle to stay focused,” she said. “We cannot feed the minds of our students if we do not feed their health first. “

Her “premieres” love to learn coding lessons, she said, which can be the building blocks of a future in science and engineering. And students who arrive in Grade 1 after having benefited from quality preschool and kindergarten programs “develop the social and emotional skills necessary to work as a team and stay focused on their task.”

Augello-Kuhl also welcomed proposals to bring a more diverse group of teachers into classrooms. “Our children don’t see enough teachers who are like them, and they need to see themselves in their teachers.”

Contact Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish

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