HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM)– Earlier this year, the commonwealth court ruled that Pennsylvania insufficiently and unconstitutionally funds public schools, so education advocates, parents, and students rallied at the capitol steps urging the Basic Education Funding Commission to do something about it.
“We are Pennsylvanians from every corner of the Commonwealth. We are from cities we are from rural areas, we are from suburban areas, and we are speaking with one voice and we are saying Enough is enough. It is time for you to do the right thing and fund our school,” said Susan Spicka, Executive Director of Education Voters of PA.
They want the commission to issue a final report, showing a clear calculation of how much each individual school district needs, and exactly when they’ll start getting the help they need.
“I think that anytime, you know when you’re talking about school funding right you’re not talking about funding for funding sake; you’re talking about the future of children right? You’re talking about giving them enough teachers and counselors and librarians,” said Dan Urevick-Ackelsburg, Senior Public Interest Law
Studies suggest as many as half of Pennsylvania’s school districts are underfunded– and students say it shows.
“They need to know that we need funding and if we don’t get enough funding are we even a school anymore? it’s just gonna be like a big place for books and teachers,” said Che Hawkins, Clairton High School 10th grader.
The Commission is still gathering testimony across the commonwealth and expects to issue its report ahead of next year’s state budget process.