The Board Supports the Pennsylvania School Funding Lawsuit
The Board recently adopted a resolution to support the Pennsylvania School Funding Lawsuit, which could significantly impact funding for under-resourced school districts across the state. The lawsuit, being tried in Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg, alleges that school funding is inadequate and inequitable and asks the state to distribute more funds to low-wealth districts. According to PA Schools Work, adequate state funding for the School District of Philadelphia would translate to an additional $5,584 per student. While the School District of Philadelphia is not a party to the lawsuit, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr., Ed.D., and Chief Financial Officer Uri Monson have testified about the impact of state funding on public schools.
“The current system of funding education in Pennsylvania shortchanges school districts like Philadelphia,” said Board Member Mallory Fix-Lopez. “The outcome of the lawsuit has the potential to significantly alter our budget position and allow us to make the types of investments in our students, staff and schools that we see in suburban school districts just outside the city.”
The resolution expresses the Board’s support for the public school parents, school districts, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools and the Pennsylvania NAACP State Conference in their suit to enforce Pennsylvania’s constitutional guarantee of a “thorough and efficient system of public education.”
The resolution also urges the Pennsylvania General Assembly to provide a fair, adequate and predictable funding system that enables all children to meet state academic standards and one that does not discriminate against low-wealth school districts. Pennsylvania ranks 45th in the nation for the state’s share of funding K-12 education.
“We urge members of our school community to reach out to Governor Wolf and ask him to propose an education budget that adequately funds all schools and to ask their state representative and state senator to fight for a budget that includes adequate funding for Philadelphia’s students,” said Ms. Fix-Lopez.