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Kauffman Continues Fight for Scotland School for Veterans' Children
3/17/2009
Lawmaker testifies before House Appropriations Committee to keep school open
 
State Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Cumberland/Franklin) today testified before the House Appropriations Committee to ask for the funding needed to keep the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children open.
 
Gov. Ed Rendell proposed closing the school during his annual budget address. The school is primarily funded by a $10.5 million appropriation in the state budget. The elimination of funding would effectively close the school and send 288 students back home and leave 186 employees jobless.
 
The school provides housing and an education for relatives of veterans. Seventy percent of the students come from Philadelphia looking for a safe environment to live, learn and grow.
 
“The closure of the school demonstrates the lack of planning and foresight put into this decision by this administration,” said Kauffman. “There is no plan for the displaced faculty and staff of the school. There is no plan for the 168-acre campus in the middle of Scotland. And there certainly is no plan for the almost 300 students who would be devastated by the closure of the school.”
 
Kauffman noted, “If these children are evicted from Scotland School on June 30, they will have to return to the same schools, same communities and the same at-risk environments that many of them sought to escape. For these young people who have grown up at Scotland, tearing them for the school would certainly destroy the investment the Commonwealth has made in these young lives.”
 
The governor cited the high cost of educating students at the school as a main reason for targeting its closure. Kauffman said that there certainly may be opportunities to look at efficiencies, larger enrollment to decrease the per capita cost and partnerships to save public dollars.
 
“But as we look at Scotland School, we must not just look at a dollar figure,” Kauffman said. “For more than 100 years, Scotland School has been measured by the lives of young people who have been transformed.”
 
Kauffman also shared with the committee a letter from a former student of the school. The letter simply and eloquently conveyed the mentoring students of the school receive beyond basic math and reading. It spoke to the caring atmosphere, friendships, character building and skills attained at Scotland that prepare students, many of whom come from at-risk environments, for productive and fulfilling lives.
 
“We owe it to our veterans to keep this school open for the benefit of their families,” said Kauffman. “If there are problems with the cost of education at the school, let us address it, not just close an institution that has positively affected the lives of thousands of children over the years and helped build a community.”
 
The state budget will be debated over the next few months with a deadline of June 30.
 
Rep. Rob Kauffman
89th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(717) 705-2004
(717) 264-3943
Member Site: RepKauffman.com
Contact: Sean Yeakle
(717) 787-3406
Caucus Site: PAHouseGOP.com