Today, a new survey of school districts with information about educational programs was released. The survey results provide alarming evidence of cuts to instructional programs and reduced education opportunities for students in the Commonwealth. Over half of the state’s 500 school districts participated in the survey and nearly half of these districts anticipate serious financial distress within three years if state and local funding does not improve.
Recently, Governor Corbett has stated that school districts are sitting on large fund balances and are instead “choosing” to cut programs, but the reality is that districts are depleting their fund balances at an alarming rate and some have zero fund balances.
The survey also reports:
- 20% of school districts may reduce full day kindergarten and other early education programs
- More than 1/3 of districts will have to eliminated programs proven to be successful in increase student achievement such as tutoring and summer classes
- Almost 2/3 of districts will have to increase class sizes
- Nearly 60% of districts are reducing or eliminating instruction in art and music and physical education
- Almost 50% of districts will have to eliminate or reduce extra-curricular programs, including sports.
With reduce local revenue and a state budget cut of $860 million, local school districts are struggling to close their budget gaps, which are harming the educational opportunities for the students of Pennsylvania. The General Assembly has a responsibility to support public education and provide a quality education to ALL children with in the Commonwealth. This doesn’t seem like they are keeping their promise.
On Wednesday, May 23, Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth will call the Governor and their legislators to tell them it’s raining in Pennsylvania and to use the surplus to invest in public education. Our future workforce and economy depend on it. Learn more about how you can participate in our Call to Action for Public Education on May 23rd.