State budget negotiations are heating up and state legislators need to hear from us! Since you’ve been following the issues, you know where we are: nearly $1 billion in cuts to education (in each of the last 2 years), increased class sizes, programs and positions have been cut.
Pennsylvania’s way of funding schools is badly flawed, causing and
compounding problems and creating unfairness to children, communities
and taxpayers. Quite simply, it is inadequate and unfair. Pennsylvania
must adopt and implement a schedule to provide adequate financial
support and allocate that funding through formulas.
your representatives in Harrisburg that it is time to fix this. We
can’t go on kicking the can down the road - our students can’t wait any
It is time for the legislature to renew its work on the permanent adoption of a sensible approach to funding our public schools:
one which takes academic expectations, the costs of programs and
services, the individual learning needs of students, and community
financial health into account. A funding formula must be predictable,
accurate (use updated data) and provide accountability and transparency
mechanisms; it must address issues of equity and the fact that
Pennsylvania has a variety of communities in both size and type.
For the 2013-14 budget year, we are calling on the state legislature to:
- Reinstate $270 million in funding to K-12 education in this year’s
budget (and for the next 2 years - to restore the nearly $1 billion in
state funding level cuts over a three year timetable).
- Put in place funding formulas that have a strategy for allocating
dollars, working toward a permanent, rational funding formula. Formulas
must account for the number of students, include “weights” for the
additional costs for educating students with special needs (including
students in poverty, gifted students and English language learners), and
provide sustainable and predictable funding for districts.
- Begin to address formula and funding mechanism flaws in the way
that charter schools are funded (a good formula will set rates
appropriately and not pit groups of children against each other);
- They must also provide cost of living increases for special
education (which has been flat funded for 6 straight years) and
- Develop a comprehensive plan to guarantee that the students in
financially distressed districts have the resources necessary to meet
the state’s academic standards.
Today we are asking you to do 3 quick things:
1. CLICK HERE to email your legislators today and ask them to support these measures.
2. Mark your calendar for the next Call to Action Day on Wednesday April 10th - where thousands of
Pennsylvanians will take 10 minutes to call their State Senators and House members.
3. Identify just 2 other people (or more) that you can ask to join
you in making a call - another parent from school, a cousin who has
kids, your parents or neighbors who know how important schools are to
communities. CLICK HERE to forward this email or download a flyer HERE.