On Tuesday, across the state of Pennsylvania, unions and other Left-wing organizations will be boarding buses and heading to the state capitol in Harrisburg to engage in a mass rally to fight for economic and social justice and against budget cuts. The rally, is being organized by the Coalition for Labor Engagement and Accountable Revenues (CLEAR) which is comprised of government unions, such as AFSCME, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), PSEA (part of the NEA), SEIU, as well as the AFL-CIO, IAFF, UFCW and others.
The economic agenda of the rally organizing group CLEAR consists of raising taxes on consumers and retailers, internet shoppers and vendors, corporations and, of course, the wealthy. CLEAR is clear, they do not want any cuts in spending.
Also in attendance will be a diverse group of other organizations, such as:
- Just Harvest, a community-organizing group that has been "sowing the seeds of economic justice since 1986"
- Pittsburghers for Public Transit
- Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
In addition, there will be elementary schoolchildren bused in from all over the state.
In Lancaster, PA, concerned parents contacted the local newspaper with their concerns, which caused one school to cancel the "field trip":
Plans to have Wickersham Elementary School students participate next week in a rally opposing cuts in the state education budget have been canceled in the wake of complaints from parents.
The school Wednesday sent home a permission slip asking parents to allow their children in grades three to five to attend the Rally for a Responsible Budget in Harrisburg Tuesday.
"The fact that they're taking kids and teachers out of school to attend this rally is just plain wrong," said Julie Zug, whose son is a fourth-grader at Wickersham.
"I have no idea how many schools or districts in Pennsylvania are participating, but it sounds like an awful expense to prop up the teachers' union.
"How many parents are unaware their kids are being used in this manner?"
The rally is being sponsored by the Coalition for Labor Engagement and Accountable Revenues, a group that includes the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers and several other public-service unions that are planning to bus hundreds of members to Harrisburg.
In a letter to parents accompanying the permission slip, James said the trip would provide an opportunity to "model the role of good citizenship, free expression, fairness and thoughtful deliberation."
"Please join us as we … travel to Harrisburg to let our voice be heard for a responsible budget for public education," he urged parents in the letter.
In addition to the permission slip, the school sent home a sample letter for parents to send to lawmakers opposing education funding cuts, as well as a sample script for parents to read when calling their legislators, according to parents.
It's unknown how many parents will be having their children be used as a government-union prop. What is also unknown, as referenced above, is the number of parents who may not know that their children are being used as government-union props next Tuesday.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776