Sep. 16, 2015

WARRINGTON – In an effort to release orders of textbooks for students in non-public schools across Pennsylvania, Rep. Kathy Watson (R-Bucks/144th), together with Rep. Scott Petri (R-Bucks/178th), have written to Education Secretary Pedro Rivera, asking him to authorize the orders of the educational materials.

Due to the budget impasse, nearly 274,000 Pennsylvania students attending non-public schools are without their necessary textbooks.

Watson and Petri made their case in a letter to Rivera that was sent this week.

“Although the budget has not yet been agreed to, we believe you have the authority to allow the parochial school principals to submit their books orders to you in the next 10 days so that when the budget is passed or funding is released, the orders could be expedited and the children could get the textbooks they need to be successful students,” the letter states, noting that it could be at least three weeks once the orders are placed for the books to reach the schools.

The letter pointed out that in some cases, high school students have started their chemistry lessons without textbooks and elementary teachers are spending their own time after school copying workbook pages. In many parochial schools, the administration is requesting reams of paper be donated by parents because the copy machines are running at full speed for hours at a time.

Watson and Petri also noted that in many instances, the textbooks are not waiting for shipment and publishers may only have limited quantities for orders they have on hand, or some teachers may be forced to select different textbooks, both situations that may cause further delay.

A copy of the letter can be found on Watson’s website at:

Representative Kathy Watson
144th District
Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
717.705.2094 / 

Representative Scott Petri
178th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives 
Media Contact: Donna Pinkham