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Innovation & Growth Initiative: Montgomery County Benchmark
Learn about Abington's Next Century. To access a white paper that compares Abington to the rest of Montgomery County, click here >
Madeleine Dean (D)
Candidate for Pennsylvania State House of Representatives
District 153 See Map >
Q. How can a state representative have a meaningful and positive impact on the quality of education among local K-12 schools as well as colleges, while at the same time being fiscally-responsible?
A. I am a teacher and a parent. No other issue matters more to me than education because I know education is the key to our economic future. How we educate our children will determine our children’s future and our own.
In Abington and Upper Dublin we have excellent schools, but that excellence will be compromised if we continue along the course of the current administration in Harrisburg. Last year, Pennsylvania cut funding for education by approximately $800 million dollars. These deep cuts were in programs from early childhood through 12th grade. This year, Governor Corbett proposes an additional $300 million worth of cuts to education – $250 million of which would come from higher education.
While we should not simply put more money toward education – neither should we simply slash education budgets. Deep cuts to education budgets year after year will have a direct impact here at home. As the state's share of investment in public education declines, school districts like Abington and Upper Dublin will be forced to choose between raising school taxes or accepting diminished educational quality of services. I will fight declining investment in public education by the state. The state must be a strong partner with school districts for the best public education system for our children.
We have an obligation to balance two things when it comes to education: being fiscally responsible and educating our children well. As State Representative, I would be a voice for making the best education practices and funding our number one priority. We must invest in successful early childhood and K-12 programs, best practices in teacher training and support, and access to affordable vocation training and higher education.
Q. What practical and realistic steps would you take to create conditions that will lead to the improvement of the economy in Abington and Upper Dublin?
A. Here are three things we can do to strengthen our economy in Abington and Upper Dublin – and both support and attract businesses to us.
First, we can build more livable communities. One of my core reasons for getting involved in public service is my belief that we must build more livable communities; we must invest in our business districts by investing smartly in infrastructure, roads, sidewalks and traffic-calming measures; we must think differently, more creatively, about our towns to make our roads safer, our neighborhoods more aesthetically valuable.
As we make these smart growth investments at the state level and local, we will not only support our important existing business, we will also attract new business. And all of this adds up to better goods, services, and jobs for all of us.
Second, as State Representative, I would be a conduit of information about resources available to businesses in our area. Too often, both existing and start-up businesses are not aware of the many resources that can offer funding, mentoring and other support.
There is a network of resources available from federal, state, county and private initiatives, such as the Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners of Pennsylvania and Innovation Philadelphia and many others.
We must make sure that businesses in our area take full advantage of opportunities out there for growth, development, research and innovation.
Third, in addition to knowing what is available, as state representative, I will look to other creative solutions to help get entrepreneurs from idea to action. By way of example, programs like state of Ohio Third Frontier Program is focused on innovation through technology, and attracting entrepreneurs and professionals to their business community. We should foster programs like this in Pennsylvania, and in the 153rd.
Q. Use of radar is only permitted by State Police in Pennsylvania. This is the only state with such a restriction. If you are in-favor of changing this, how would you go about developing consensus to do so without the support of the State Police?
A. Traffic speed and safety is a key part of fostering a more livable community, and are two issues that I am very concerned about. Local municipalities should have access to the best tools necessary to enforce our traffic safety laws.
I have spoken to area police chiefs about the use of radar, and what I have learned is that municipalities differ in their needs, whether we are talking about radar or many other subjects.
Thus, I believe that municipalities that determine that they can enforce laws more fairly and effectively through radar should be properly trained and accredited and able to use radar for the purpose of making our communities safer.
Democratic Candidate for District 153
General Election Day is Tuesday, April 24
0 comments by Members are their personal opinions (see RMCA policies)
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