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Monday, May 5, 2014

May 6th Day of Action

Take Action Today

Join Education Voters of PA in making today a day of action. Join thousands of Pennsylvanians in sending a message to Governor Corbett and state legislators that Pennsylvania’s children cannot afford another year of inadequate state funding and political posturing.

Here’s what you need:
  • Find the phone number for your State Representative and State Senator HERE.
  • Governor Corbett’s phone number is --- (717) 787-2500
  • Review our tips on how to make a good call HERE.

These are the points that we need to make:
  • The legislature must keep Governor Corbett’s proposed increase of $230 million and make this increase a permanent source of funding in the Basic Education Fund (BEF)*, NOT a block grant that has strings attached and can be eliminated in future budgets.
  • We need a fair, transparent, and accurate funding formula for allocating state funding to school districts. This formula should take political deal making out of the budget process and be based on current data and the real costs of educating students with different needs.
  • The proposed increase for special education of $20 million must stay in the budget. After six years of flat funding for special education, we applaud the decision to finally increase the funding.
  • The budget must restore charter school reimbursement payments to local school districts. Public schools lost hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding when Governor Corbett eliminated this line item in 2011. The legislature made changes to the public education system by adding charter schools, and then put in place the charter reimbursement line to help address the additional costs communities were facing.  Cutting this funding hurt both community school district students and charter school students and compounded an already difficult situation. These funds should be restored until a formula is adopted.
  • Finally, any savings from the elimination of the charter school pension double-dip payments must stay in the education budget and be returned to local school districts. These savings should not go into the general fund where legislators can spend them as they please.

Make the call! Thank you for standing up for public education in Pennsylvania!

*Although our current Basic Education Funding distribution is flawed because it’s based on old data rather than updated data, rational principles and mechanisms for driving out money, putting one-time grants for new programs only makes things worse!  Legislators should first restore the cuts, so students can get back what they have lost.  Arguing that we can’t put any money into the BEF because of its flaws when we don’t have an alternative in place just means schools struggle to cope with shrinking funding for essentials. This punishes the children.

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