Here are several questions that I recently sent to John Eichelberger. I sent a similar set of questions to the governors office and they sent a matter of fact reply. I've included Eichelberger's response at the bottom of the page. enjoy.
April 5, 2011
I would appreciate if you or someone on your staff could provide me the answers to the following questions at your earliest convenience. I apologize in advanced for the number of questions.
1. Can you please share with me the PSSA, PVAAS and AYP scores for the private and parochial schools within Blair County? Since you support creating competition, I would like to be able to accurately compare the job that our public, private and parochial schools are doing.
2. Since funding to public education has been cut by about 20% and funding for our state supported universities has been cut by about 50%, can the taxpayers of Pennsylvania expect the Governor and the Legislature to cut their budgets by about the same amounts?
3. Along those lines, teachers, professors, other university employees, and state workers are expected to take a pay freeze for this year. Since you claim to be a fiscal conservative, can the taxpayers of Pennsylvania count on you and all of the members of your staff to take a pay freeze too? Technically, you are a state employee and we all should share the pain in these tough economic times.
4.A few questions related to the benefits of being an elected official:
a. How much do you pay into your state supported retirement system?
b. How much do our elected officials collect when they retire? On average, what percent of their
c. Are retired elected officials still covered by taxpayer sponsored health insurance?
d. How much is your monthly car allowance?
5. Without providing the names of your eight staff members, would you please provide the salaries
and benefit package for each of them?
6. What is the total cost of operating your office or offices for one year?
7. Do you support taxing the Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling companies?
8. Would you be willing to introduce legislation freezing all of our elected officials and their staffs
salaries for the coming year?
9. Would you be willing to introduce legislation to reduce the Governorâ€™s and Congressional budgets by at least 20%?
10. Would you be willing to introduce legislation that would cut the size of our state legislature in half? There are 435 members in the House of Representatives in Washington D.C. for over 310 million Americans but we have 253 members in the Pennsylvania Congress for a population of 12.7 million. That seems a bit excessive. Tens of millions of dollars would easily be saved by doing this.
11. Would you be willing to introduce legislation that would require a taxpayer referendum any time an elected official in Pennsylvania would like a raise?
One final thought, I find it disturbing that in your March 31st blog you stated, I got my usual anti-freedom emails from public school employees. So anyone who disagrees with you or has a difference of opinion is to be considered anti-freedom? I always thought that in a democratic society, an open dialogue and discussion with ones elected representative was valued. I âm sure that those anti-freedom public school employees will use their constitutional rights during the next election.
I look forward to your response.
Obviously, you are connected to a public school and don't want to discuss, in a rational manner, the problems concerning the funding and performance of public schools. You know the answers to many of the questions you asked and won't accept my answers on others I could answer. Instead of trying to take deflect your system's shortcomings onto the legislature, gas drilling or corporate America, I would suggest that you work to make public education better. You evidently feel that public ed is perfect or, maybe, it isn't perfect, but can only be looked at when every other problem in Pennsylvania is fixed first. I don't share your view. I represent the interests of taxpayers and children.
You should as well.