Per pupil spending in PA’s poorest districts is 33 percent less than in PA’s wealthiest districts. This is important because the absence of a funding formula, combined with state funding cuts in recent years, hits our students hard. A recent PASA-PASBO report found that since 2010-11, 93 percent of school districts reduced staff; 50 percent furloughed teachers or other staff; 74 percent cut or reduced at least one academic program; and 57 percent increased class size.
That means every student across the commonwealth isn’t getting a fair shot at high achievement. But others are set up for success. Take my children for instance. When my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, her classroom had more than seven kinds of paper in the class for the students to use throughout the day. Each activity the children did required a different kind of paper provided by the school at no charge to parents. That same year, I volunteered at a school in Philadelphia to help students learn to read and write their own stories. The classroom did not have stacks of paper available for the children to use. Even more distressing was the fact that the school library had a lot fewer books in it compared to my daughter’s classroom library!
These differences are caused by funding inequities. While I am happy that my children attend some of the best schools in the country, it saddens me that children across Pennsylvania are being sent to schools with fewer teachers, fewer resources and dilapidated buildings. This situation does not have to last. There is something that can be done. You can help!
If you believe that there is a need for Pennsylvania to adopt and maintain an adequate and equitable system of funding public education, you too can support students and help them get the education they deserve. If you want to get involved, you can go to the Campaign for Fair Education Funding’s website and click the links to get involved. Once there you will be able to:
- sign up to receive campaign updates and information
- contact yourFind Your State Representative state legislators
- speak out on social media viaFacebook and Twitter
- participate in an event
- share your story using theHear Me link
- join the campaign as an organizational member
You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home or office. Social media has made it possible for people to push for changes at a grassroots level. The Campaign for Fair Education Funding is harnessing the power of Twitter to help fight for fair education funding across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Click here to be connected to the campaign’s Twitter page. The Campaign will be hosting a Twitter party on Monday June 15, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm EST, be sure to join the party and have your voice heard.
If you care about fairness in education funding throughout Pennsylvania, this is your chance to get your voice out and your opinion heard by people who matter. I am going to be taking action and Tweeting on Monday June 15, 2015, will you join me?