Last February, the Commonwealth Court ruled that the state’s current system of funding public education is unconstitutional. This left many questions unanswered as the court deferred to the administration and General Assembly to determine the future of public education funding – a monumental task. Much of the work has been undertaken by the Basic Education Funding Commission, which has been working diligently over the last year to listen to stakeholders and develop a series of recommendations that will address the concerns and diverse needs of Pennsylvania’s public education system.
As the work of the commission now turns to the General Assembly and the governor, PSBA is pleased that the commission thoughtfully deliberated and considered the vast array of viewpoints it heard over the last year. PSBA is hopeful that the General Assembly and the governor will recognize the need for a greater investment from the state in order to make critical improvements to the educational programs in all school districts and to address other critical issues impacting districts and students, such as student mental health, school safety and security, and school infrastructure.
The issues which were studied by the commission are incredibly complex and vital to the long-term success of the commonwealth. The commission’s efforts to examine all issues coming before it have been laudable, and finding consensus on many of those issues has been difficult. It is PSBA’s hope that the General Assembly and the governor are able to continue working without any partisanship and arrive at a series of funding and other policy changes that are not only constitutional but will allow all of the public school students in Pennsylvania to thrive.