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Education program taking hit at East Stroudsburg University

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 31 2013 05:03:34 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 31 2013 06:25:36 PM CDT

Education is one of the programs taking a hit in cutbacks recently announced by East Stroudsburg University.

Education is one of the programs taking a hit in cutbacks recently announced by East Stroudsburg University.

But some teachers say education programs aren't just under fire here, they say it's a state-wide issue and they're pointing the finger at Harrisburg.

It's been a rough three days for students at East Stroudsburg University.

On Tuesday, students rallied to save jobs and programs on Wednesday afternoon university officials made cuts to save $6.9 million.

"When I heard about Health and P.E. I looked to all my friends who were still in the major and they were shocked," said Brianna McMichael, a junior at ESU.

McMichael said she changed her major after her sophomore year.

"I changed because I heard a lot about programs that were being cut from even high schools and elementary," added McMichael.

"Right now we're just in a really difficult time," said Wythe Keever, assistant communications director for the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

Workers at the PSEA say the job market has been tough for teachers in certain fields for years.

The hardest hit are early and elementary education.

The teachers union is placing blame on Governor Tom Corbett's budget.

They say less money plus layoffs, equal fewer teachers in the classroom.

"He made the decision to cut nearly a billion in state funding to public schools and many public schools have responded by increasing class size at the early childhood level," said Keever.

There are still teaching jobs available according to the PSEA just not in the Keystone state.

"Pennsylvania over the years has become a net exporter of teacher candidates to other states," added Keever. "Not just in early childhood education, but many other fields."

In a written statement, the governor's office claims funding for education has increased by 14 percent since Tom Corbett has been in office.

The statement also notes that public school enrollment has declined and the higher education community is responding to this change.