May 25, 2016
Today, local members of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding commend state lawmakers for taking a big step forward in achieving equity in education. The passage of House Bill 1552 will permanently enact the Basic Education Funding formula, once signed by the governor. The formula removes politics from school funding decisions and directs money to school districts based on objective factors, such as student enrollment, student need and the district’s ability to raise revenues. Last week, in a bipartisan vote of 49-1, the state Senate passed House Bill 1552, which contains the school funding formula. This afternoon, members of the House of Representatives followed suit and voted 188-3.
This is a major milestone towards getting a rational, predictable and more equitable funding system in Pennsylvania. Your zip code should not determine the quality of your schools, and this vote is a big step towards giving every child a chance at an excellent education. ~Carey A. Harris, executive director of A+ Schools.
Today’s vote is a big victory in our fight for all children and equity in education. However, our advocacy efforts won’t end here. In addition to equity, we must continue to fight for adequacy and urge lawmakers to invest an additional $400 million in Basic Education Funding for the 2016-17 fiscal year. ~Patrick Dowd, executive director at Allies for Children
Currently, Pennsylvania has the widest funding gap between wealthy and poor school districts of any state in the country.
According to a study conducted by RAND, the achievement gaps among Pennsylvania students by race, ethnicity, economic status and parent education are among the largest in the country. The permanent formula means we can begin to achieve equity in our schools. All students should have a chance at academic success. ~Esther Bush, president and CEO at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
The benefits of providing a quality education to our children stretch beyond school doors and into our communities. Our families thrive, and our economy is strengthened. ~Reverend Rodney Lyde, president of Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN)
The legislation will be a part of Pennsylvania’s education regulations and not tied to a budget for a particular fiscal year, which means the issue most likely won’t be debated in the years to come.
For more information about the Campaign for Fair Education Funding, visit www.fairfundingpa.org.