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June 30, 2015

Rally3Western Pennsylvania members of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding are calling on local legislators to invest in children and their education. The call comes after the Pennsylvania Legislature passed the FY2015-16 budget. Two weeks ago, the Basic Education Funding Commission unanimously recommended that the legislature adopt a fair funding formula.

We commend the Basic Education Funding Commission for unanimously recommending a student-based funding system. Now is the time for all of our lawmakers to finish this work and ensure that all our students have the dollars they need to succeed academically. ~Patrick Dowd, executive director of Allies for Children and executive committee member of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding.

The Campaign for Fair Education Funding supports a Basic Education Funding increase of at least $410 million for FY2015-16.

In order for Pennsylvania to begin to ensure that all children, regardless of racial or economic backgrounds, have a fair shot in life, we must make significant investments in our students. If that investment is not made, students and schools suffer. ~Esther Bush, president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and member of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding.

According to a recent PASA/PASBO survey, nearly one-quarter of all Pennsylvania school districts, and 29 percent of the poorest districts, will reduce or eliminate valuable programs. In addition, 41 percent of school districts plan to reduce staffing. When surveyed, 43 percent of districts reported staff reductions could be minimized.

This is the first step in the budget process. We will continue to advocate for equitable funding for our students to ensure they get the excellent education they deserve. ~Carey Harris, executive director of A+ Schools and member of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding.

The Campaign for Fair Education Funding consists of more than 50 member organizations representing child advocates, educators, labor, business, and faith-based institutions, charter schools and traditional public schools. To learn more about the campaign, visit www.fairfundingpa.org.

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