Long-term substitute Katybeth Klinger, who was furloughed in 2011, was highlighted in Gov. Wolf's comments, which pushed for increased funding to public schools in Pennsylvania. Additional funding, he said, would allow teachers like Katybeth to return to the classroom permanently, and in turn, build the future of Pennsylvania.
"When I ran a business, finding talented people with a strong education was my highest priority. It's what made us competitive in the marketplace," Gov. Wolf said during his speech. "A great public education system will help Pennsylvania attract new businesses, retain talent, and grow the middle class. We need schools that help teach our kids the 21st century skills they need to compete and win against kids from China and India and Germany. Over the past for years, Pennsylvania took a step int he wrong direction by trying to balance our state budget on the backs of our schools. ... This budget increases our investment in public schools at every grade level."
We are pleased that Gov. Wolf and Katybeth are drawing positive attention to our district, as well as our outstanding staff members and students. Katybeth was also featured in today's Reading Eagle (see story below). Her comments prove her continued dedication to public education and illustrate she is truly #RSDproud.
From Reading Eagle:
Katybeth Klinger earns starring role in Gov. Wolf's budget address
By David Mekeel
Katybeth Klinger was equal parts proud and terrified.
There she was, sitting inside the Capitol in Harrisburg along with all of the Commonwealth's leaders. And everyone was looking her way.
That's because the man everyone had come to see - Gov. Tom Wolf - was saying her name and telling her story.
Wolf took time out of his inaugural state budget address Tuesday to share a little bit about Klinger, a teacher who had been laid off from the Reading School District in 2011. The governor cited her as an example of why education in Pennsylvania needs to be fixed.
In Wolf's Pennsylvania, he said, dedicated teachers like Klinger will be back in the classroom, where they belong.
"It was a little overwhelming," Klinger, 27, of Schuylkill Haven, said of the experience. "But it was an honor to, in a way, represent other people who have obviously been struggling in this horrible time for teachers."
She still works as a substitute teacher in the city schools. Rather than seek work in another district, Klinger stays as a substitute in Reading because she wants to make a difference in the lives of city children who need help, Wolf said in his speech.
She said she was contacted Friday by representatives from the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the state teachers union, about the possibility of being featured in Wolf's address. She shared her story with members of Wolf's staff who decided she was the perfect fit.
Klinger said she was thrilled that Wolf spent so much time during his address talking about education and the struggles many local school districts have faced.
"It was a huge honor to just have somebody acknowledge that the way thing are going is not working," she said. "And to put a human face on it, and then to have me be that face."
Klinger said she got a chance to meet with the governor following Tuesday's address, and even had her picture taken with him.
Overall, she said, it was a wonderful experience.
"It was really great, it was really cool," she said. "I just felt very proud. I felt proud to represent the Reading School District."