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Answer Sheet
Posted at 03:01 PM ET, 05/29/2012

Tina Fey protests cuts in her old school district

It’s not a bad thing when someone who is high-profile lends their name to a good cause. This time it is Tina Fey.

Fey attended public schools in the Upper Darby School District in
(Nicole Rivelli)
Pennsylvania. She was in the choir and drama club while an honor student at Upper Darby High School, and performed in plays. She was Frenchie in a performance of “Grease.”

So when the three-time Emmy Award-winner heard that her old school district had proposed eliminating specialized elementary school classes in arts and music (along with library and gym) to help deal with a multimillion-dollar deficit, she decided to join the fight against the changes.

The Upper Darby district is on the border of West Philadelphia, and with 12,000 students, it is one of the largest in the state. Along with cuts in elementary education, the Delaware County Daily Times reported that officials had also proposed cutting out foreign language and technology in middle schools and reducing the teaching staff.

The proposals met with strong opposition from parents, students, alumni and others in the district, who are organizing against the cuts.

Fey, creator and star of “30 Rock,” heard that her old high school friend, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Maria Panaritis (who played Rizzo in that “Grease” production), was working on a piece about the budget cuts and offered to get involved.

In this article, Panaritis wrote:

“How can I help?” Tina Fey offered when she heard I was working on a story. The now-famous writer and comedic actress was about to head into a movie shoot but would make time; this was important.

The Daily Times reported that Fey e-mailed the above video to friends and asked them to sign a petition that organizers plan to present to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) and state legislators early next month.

While the financial troubles in this post are about Upper Darby, other districts across the country are having similar problems. Officials are trying to make painful decisions about how to close budget deficits — and parents and others are organizing opposition.

Let me know what's going on in your district.

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By  |  03:01 PM ET, 05/29/2012

 
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