As Pennsylvania legislators returned to session on September 23rd, they were greeted at the Capitol by advocates representing 40 districts across the state holding a press conference. The event, organized by Education Voters of Pennsylvania (an OTL ally) and several other groups, brought together parents, teachers, and several legislators to demanding that the state support the creation of an equitable school funding formula.
Philadelphia is one of the few states that doesn't employ a transparent funding formula for distributing state education funding. The result: huge disparities between well-off districts and those serving low-income communities. At the press conference, advocates highlighted a petition with over 18,000 signatures from over 250 school districts asking the legislature to support a better way of funding public education and the adoption of a funding formula to equitably distribute those funds.
From the Philadelphia Inquirer's front page coverage of the event"
"With a governor's race on the horizon, education advocates are preparing another push to get school funding addressed, including lobbying and legal action. Back on the job last week, state legislators are debating changes in charter school and special-education funding and a proposal to abolish school property taxes.
'This cannot go on,' said Susan Gobreski, executive director of Education Voters of Pennsylvania, a statewide organization formed in 2007. 'We need adequacy and equity.'
Gobreski, a Philadelphia public school parent, led the Capitol rally with people from 40 school districts."
The press conference was covered by news outlets across Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg, Bucks County, Chambersburg, Beaver County and Easton. Check out some of the stories below!
- Patriot News: "With lawmakers returning, it's time to stand up for public education: As I See It"
- Patriot New: "In the struggle to fund Pa. education, political clout counts for a lot: Editorial"
- Penn Live/Patriot News: "School advocates push for more funding and a more equitable way of distributing those dollars"
- Newsworks: "Pa. education activists plan plea for more funding"
- Philadelphia Inquirer: "Advocates target PA education funding"
- Phillymag: "Schoolmageddon '13: Education Advocates Storm Harrisburg for the Start of the Fall Legislative Session"
- Lehigh Valley Live: "Lehigh Valley education advocates to call for funding reform at Harrisburg event"
- PhillyBurgs: "Education advocates demand equitable school funding formula"
- Public Opinion: "Franklin County lawmakers idle on education funding issues"
- WTAJ News: "Rally for Education"
- WITF: "Schools advocates attempt to highlight lack of funding formula"
- Public Opinion: "Advocates press for Pennsylvania public education funding formula."