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A thorough, efficient, and just ruling!

This week the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania made a historic ruling. While legislators huffed their objections, their constituents applauded the Court’s decision that, when it comes to education, it was time to hold the state to the highest level of accountability.

So school districts, parents, poor and minority students will have their day in court. The plaintiffs, several school districts and parents, sued the governor, the legislature and the Pennsylvania Department of Education because they believe that the way education is funded in Pennsylvania is not fair.

Celebrate the Fair Funding victory with PCCY at City Hall on Monday, October 2, at 4pm!

Why Funding Isn’t Fair

PA school districts receive a little money from the federal government and some money from the state (37%), but most money comes from local resources (about 56%).  Districts that have a lot of businesses and expensive homes nearby can spend more money on providing students with the resources they need to succeed.

Districts that don’t have that tax base, can’t. Wealthier districts can provide students with good teachers, small classroom sizes, music, art and tough classes. Poorer districts are struggling just to keep their doors open. Because of the way schools are funded, wealthier kids get a good education, while poorer ones don’t.

Why does this court case matter?

Decades ago, the PA Supreme Court said that school-funding lawsuits should not be heard because it was an issue that the legislature and the governor should resolve. They also said three branches of government all had jobs to do; hearing a case on whether school-funding is fair was not their job.

This week, the PA Supreme Court finally got it right. They disagreed with their predecessors, finding there were indeed constitutional issues hanging in the balance.

The plaintiffs will now get to tell the judges that the way the state funds schools fail to live up to the government’s constitutional duty to provide an education system that is “thorough and efficient” and offers every student “equal protection.”

They will make the case that it was the state’s job to create a system that funds schools fairly and provides all kids with a good education and that it has failed miserably.

Yes, the Supreme Court got it right though we’re still far from a remedy. But we don’t have to be.

How many generations of below grade level performance, stalled graduation rates, poor college admissions and unprepared workers will it take before the PA House of Representatives and Senators say enough is enough. They don’t have to wait for a court case to be decided to amend the law, they can change the law now.

For legislators who have had to hold back from pushing for meaningful change, this ruling could be the spark that ignites their passion to finally live up to their constitutional duty and push politics to the back burner.

Instead of being passive observers, they can finally be the active leaders we elected them to be on the very issue that ranks first for voters.

You can send our legislators the message! Join PCCY on Monday, 4pm, at City Hall’s South Apron, for a celebration of this monumental decision, a historic victory for Fair Funding! Raise your voice alongside students, parents, advocates, and teachers! 

 

Celebrate the history-making victory for Fair Funding!

Join PCCY on Monday, Oct. 2nd, 4pm, at City Hall’s South Apron (near the new Octavius Catto statue!) for a read-in of the Supreme Court’s ruling granting districts and families their day in court! 

 

Serious advocacy for public schools!

These books should go to “underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.” School librarian in well-resourced Cambridge school has a different idea about how far the First Lady’s gift of Dr. Seuss books should go.

READ MORE

 

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“It is a ship of fools, sitting dead in the water.” Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board, on the lack of leadership in Harrisburg regarding the state budget.

READ THE EDITORIAL HERE