Public education – and how it should be funded – was a core issue in this year’s elections here in Pennsylvania. Voters chose to reelect Governor Tom Wolf, who ran on his record of investing in education and restoring past cuts in school funding.
Now the work fully and fairly fund our public schools must begin anew. Though progress has been made since 2015 with more significant state funding increases and passage of a fair funding formula, more is needed to make sure every student has the opportunity to successfully move on to college or a career.
At one time, Pennsylvania shared the cost of educating children equally with local school districts. Today the state pays for only 37% of educational costs, the fourth lowest rate in the country. As a result, most schools are struggling to give students what they need to succeed, and many must hike property taxes to fill the hole left by the state.