SEND AN EMAIL TO GOVERNOR SHAPIRO AND YOUR LEGISLATORS TO SAY THAT ALL KIDS DESERVE FULLY-FUNDED SCHOOLS!
Investing in public education excellence that allows students to succeed is the path to thriving communities, a stable economy, and a more competitive workforce. Every child, regardless of zip code, has a right to an excellent public education, which requires access to a full curriculum, art and music classes, counselors and librarians, technical opportunities, and a safe, clean, stable school environment.
Now, we have a ruling from the Commonwealth Court that emphatically agrees that our system of funding public education in the Commonwealth is broken. This ruling is a repudiation of a bare-bones system of public education that opponents of this lawsuit defended in court during the trial.
Pennsylvania has pockets of educational excellence, largely correlated with pockets of adequate funding. That shows that Pennsylvania public schools and students succeed with sufficient resources. But much of the education system is performing far below our students’ potential due to widespread underfunding that disproportionately harms our most vulnerable children. Pennsylvania’s school funding system simply does not meet the needs of all its students, particularly low-income students, and students of color.
The state’s school funding system remains broken, thanks to decades of financial neglect. Pennsylvania is 43rd in the country when it comes to the share of revenue for local school districts that come from the state, which means the burden is passed to local taxpayers through property taxes. The state’s total spending on K-12 education is over four billion dollars short of providing an adequate education to all students, by the state’s own standard of adequacy.
Now, as ordered by the court, the state legislature has no choice but to fix the state’s broken, unjust funding system. We must upend the broken school funding system in Pennsylvania once and for all. The state must add AT LEAST $4 billion in Basic Education Funding to close the adequacy gap. This new funding should be distributed through both the Fair Funding Formula and the Level Up supplement, with one-third of the year-one investment going through Level Up. This kind of robust investment in our public schools, along with investments in special education, school facilities, and career and technical education will put Pennsylvania back on the path to ensuring that all students, no matter where they live, have the resources necessary to succeed.