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Common Sense: Education

Education is the subject of my third and last “Common Sense” piece for the Herald. My title is drawn from the pamphlet written by Thomas Paine, the American revolutionary whose writing raised the spirits of patriots in the hard winter of 1775-1776. Many Americans feel that currently we are in hard times.

Pennsylvania historically has taken a national lead in many areas of public education. Its first state constitution in 1790 recognized the importance of education for all citizens by requiring that the “poor be taught gratis,” that is, free of charge. In 1834 a state law pushed by T...


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