With School Funding at the Center of Election-Year Debate, Statewide Movement to Invest in Public Schools Picks Up Steam

HARRISBURG, PA (August 8, 2018) — PA Schools Work, a nonpartisan statewide movement calling on Pennsylvania lawmakers to adequately and equitably fund public education, unveiled a new website and announced today it will launch efforts to mobilize Pennsylvanians and expand its work to build statewide support for new state investments in Pennsylvania public schools.

“Funding public education in Pennsylvania is a complex problem, but it has a simple solution,” said Susan Spicka, Executive Director of Education Voters of PA. “Pennsylvania must pay its fair share by significantly increasing its investment in public schools, running those increases through the state’s fair funding formula. Simply redistributing the current, inadequate pot of state dollars will not work. The state must invest more in basic education, but also fully support special education for students with disabilities and special needs and broaden career and technical education opportunities. We are building a movement for our students and we are calling on everyone who cares about Pennsylvania’s future to Join the Work.”

With greater focus being paid this election season on the need to fairly and adequately fund Pennsylvania schools, PA Schools Work is educating and organizing parents and grandparents, community members and taxpayers, teachers and administrators, school board members and others on what is needed to secure Pennsylvania’s future by fully supporting students. Its new website, paschoolswork.org, provides a roadmap of how to fix the state’s school funding system.

“Pennsylvania schools work – for students, communities, and our economy – when adequate resources are available to give all students an equal opportunity to graduate with the 21st century skills necessary for success in college or a career,” said Dr. Edward Albert, Executive Director of the PA Association of Rural and Small Schools. “But we cannot get there unless the state does its part in funding public schools.”

“Too many Pennsylvania classrooms are underfunded and overcrowded,” said Dr. Paul Healey, Executive Director of the PA Principals Association. “Too many teachers are paying out of their own pockets for student supplies the schools cannot afford. Parents are increasingly frustrated with fewer course options and educational supports for their children. Homeowners have had enough of property taxes that are increasing to make up for the failure of the state to do its part. PA Schools Work is calling on people across the state to begin telling their stories and show state leaders the way to solve these problems.”

PA Schools Work and its member organizations will be working in the coming weeks and months to engage and organize Pennsylvanians to advocate for public schools through a series of events, activities and reports. It will be releasing fact sheets highlighting how the state’s broken funding system is affecting every school district in the state; holding local forums on how inadequate state funding is driving property taxes higher; showcasing how better funded schools benefit the state’s economy and local communities; and issuing reports on how the state must provide greater support for special education and career and technical education.