The Pennsylvania School Boards Association is pleased to announce its participation in the PA Schools Work campaign that was launched today during a news conference at the State Capitol. The nonpartisan grassroots campaign, which includes PSBA and other public education stakeholders, is calling on the state to pay its fair share so that all Pennsylvania students can graduate with the 21st-century skills necessary for success in college or career.
Specifically, stakeholders are urging the General Assembly to approve, at a minimum, increased funding for basic education by $100 million, special education by $20 million, and the career and technical education subsidy by $10 million in the 2018-19 state budget.
The campaign notes that Pennsylvania ranks 47th in the country in the state’s share of funding for public schools, leaving local taxpayers to bear a higher burden of education costs, with one of the widest gaps between the highest and lowest spending school districts of any state in the country, meaning that the educational opportunities available to a student depend largely on where that student lives.
“Public schools are confronted with the challenge of overcoming whatever barriers to achievement are present in each student, school, and surrounding community,” said PSBA Chief Executive Officer Nathan G. Mains. “Overcoming those barriers and providing educational equity takes planning and adequate resources, both of which present unique challenges for every public school.”
Mains pointed to PSBA’s 2018 State of Education Report (https://www.psba.org/SOE-2018)
that finds that rising mandatory costs for pension, charter school tuition payments and special education are taking larger shares of school district budgets. The State of Education report also examined the achievement gap and disparities in funding between school districts, showing that poverty is the primary barrier to student achievement.
As part of the PA School Works campaign, PSBA believes the state must provide the funding necessary to ensure that all students in public schools have an equal opportunity and adequate resources to learn and be prepared for future education and work.
PSBA is a nonprofit statewide association of public school boards, pledged to the highest ideals of local lay leadership for the public schools of the commonwealth. Founded in 1895, PSBA was the first school boards association established in the United States.