Push for Equitable Public School Funding
Governor Wolf's proposal last month to redistribute more than $6 billion in existing public education funding while infusing an additional $1 billion of additional funds is certain to face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled state legislature. This problem is just another window into the systemic inequity that plagues the Commonwealth. Although 86 percent of Pennsylvania districts are underfunded, those most hurt are disproportionately districts serving predominantly Black and brown communities. Among the most underfunded districts in our area, Steelton-Highspire, serves a population that is 81 percent Black or Latino, with 65 percent of students coming from low-income homes. Rural districts are hurt as well, with districts like Shippensburg which serves a much less racially diverse population, but has nearly 50 percent of its students living in poverty. What can we do to address this issue? First of all, educate yourself about the issue with this October 2020 piece and this February 2021 piece from Spotlight PA's Cynthia Hernandez. Then reach out to our area House legislators, particularly Rep. Barb Gleim (PA-199) and Rep. Patty Kim (PA-103), both of whom serve on the House Education Committee. Finally, do your part to raise awareness of the issue by writing a letter to the editor or OpEd and submitting it to your local newspaper. Watch for forthcoming programming from Capital Region Stands Up on equity in education.