“We cost a fraction of what it costs to go to Penn or the privates,” says Rimple, who’s also vice president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties, the faculty union representing all 14 state colleges. “It’s a slash-and-burn approach to public education.”
Rimple says he and Hassan, being “composers and sensitive to these things,” decided to get creative about a response to the cuts. “I said, ‘let me write up a tune and I will send it to you,’” says Rimple. Estakhrian laid down the basic track in his home studio, then zipped it back to Rimple for loops and strings.
“It really came to life when we got all the other students involved,” says Estakhrian. “There are some really talented singers here.”
The professor credits his student with dialing down his rage. “Like any good co-writer,” says Rimple, “he softened my ire.”
The tune still gets the point across enough that state Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester) has embraced it as his anthem for pushing back on Corbett’s proposal. “It’s become sort of like the theme song of our movement,” says Dinniman on a recent phone call. “Any movement needs a song, something that has some spirit and some focus.”
“Hey, Hey, Hey, Mr. Corbett” played at a meeting held at Downingtown High School last Thursday, where Dinniman says more than 200 people showed up to join the Chester Coalition for Public Education, a brand-new group that is battling the cuts.
“Our goal is to provide a way for the public to have a voice and a say in terms of the importance of public education, and to make their voice known both to the Legislature and the governor,” says Dinniman, who envisions the coalition staying together even after the budget passes, anticipating more of the same next year.
Estakhrian is surprised by the response. He doesn’t generally consider himself a political guy. “I have [opinions] that I don’t really voice too much,” he says. “I like to vote but I’m not too active. Lately, I guess I’ve been a little more active because I see it makes a difference.”
Listen to the track at senatordinniman.com.