PSBA is the voice for public education and the work of strong local school boards in the halls of the Capitol. We are committed to supporting an effective child-centered public education that is adequately and equitably funded. Pennsylvania public schools are the driving force behind our state’s economy. PSBA works to bring focus to leverage change that will improve our system of public education. Successful advocacy also includes the active involvement of public school officials in the legislative agenda affecting their students and communities.
Current advocacy initiatives
See links to the right for all the pertinent current issues. Below is a growing list of the most active issues on which PSBA is currently engaged.
Education Savings Accounts (ESA) are vouchers that take money away from a school district’s state subsidy funding to be used at private schools and for other education expenses. ESA vouchers widely miss the mark on making any type of meaningful education reform and do nothing to address inadequacies, academic needs, issues of poverty, and other concerns that may be present in low-achieving public schools. They do not provide any real academic accountability to students or parents, nor do they provide any fiscal accountability to the taxpaying public that will be footing the bill.
Greater flexibility is needed to create graduation requirements that provide students with alternative pathways in addition to Keystone Exams to demonstrate readiness for success after high school. In creating new state-level graduation requirements, various assessments and pieces of evidence can be used to show proficiency in the knowledge and skills relevant to students’ individual career pathways. Attaining success on various assessments and performance-based programs along with coursework grades provides a rigorous and more appropriate overall measure of readiness for graduation.
Pennsylvania’s property assessment system needs comprehensive reform. Proposals that would greatly restrict or take away the rights of school districts to pursue appeals of under-assessed properties, particularly large commercial properties, will unfairly shift the tax burden to burden to those property owners who are properly assessed in the form of increased millage rates. Assessment appeals ensure that taxpayers have some way to keep the playing field level. Reforms should be made to fix the current system that makes these appeals necessary in the first place.