After seven years of fighting for fair education funding, Pennsylvania’s students finally had their day in Commonwealth Court. For decades, Pennsylvania has been neglecting its constitutional obligation to provide every child a “thorough and efficient” education. Pennsylvania ranks 45th in state share for education, putting the heavy tax burden on local districts to fill the $4.6 billion void, leaving poorer district insufficiently funded. Black, Hispanic, and low-income students suffer disproportionately.
The trial ran from November 2021 to March 2022. The plaintiffs (the good guys) in the case specifically asked the Court to:
- declare that the current funding system doesn’t comply with the state constitution,
- order the State to stop funding schools through the Hold Harmless system, and
- order that the State create and maintain an equitable school funding.
- Visit the Thorough And Efficient website – a joint effort by Children First and Education Voters PA – for updates on the trial. There are resources to write letters to the editor about funding our schools and directions on how you can ask your organization to sign a resolution supporting the lawsuit.
- Посещение FundOurSchoolsPA.org to check out witness summaries and an interactive map to see how school districts across the state are funded.
- Listen to students share their thoughts on the trial as part of our PENNding Funds Podcast. These quick (4-minute) podcast episodes with students from the William Penn School District really bring the high-level debates over funding down to a personal, and often emotional, level.
- Follow us on Twitter: Children First at ChildrenFirstPA or Education Voters PA at EdVotersPA. Also search or use the hashtags #FundOurSchoolsPA and #SchoolFundingTrial for trial-related posts.
It’s a very exciting time to be an education advocate in Pennsylvania! The Court’s decision could radically improve the lives of millions of children and shape our Commonwealth’s future for generations to come.