State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Letter: PA Schools Work Advocates for Our Schools

on January 15, 2019 4:00 AM

Do you know that Pennsylvania ranks 46th in the country in the state share of K-12 education funding? The average state covers 47 percent of school funding costs, but our state contributes only 38 percent, according to the US Census Bureau. In fact, state funding for classroom costs has declined since 2013, falling by $155.3 million. Increases in state education appropriations have not kept pace with rising costs; the funding gap between Pennsylvania's low- and high-wealth districts is the largest such gap in the nation. Local revenues average 56 percent of school funding.  

 Dependence on local revenue leads to inequities — wealthy districts support their schools much better than economically distressed districts that often have students with the greatest needs. The Campaign for Fair Education Funding successfully pushed for bipartisan enactment of a fair funding formula in 2016. In 2018, many of the Campaign’s partners formed PA Schools Work, a bipartisan advocacy group that is pushing for enactment of the 2016 fair funding formula.

The goal of PA Schools Work is to advocate for adequate school funding by uniting organizations across the state that represent teachers, school administrators, school board members, and parents; urban, suburban and rural schools; community organizations; and advocates for children. It is our job to educate legislators about these issues; it's not important if there is a R or D by their name, but we want an E for education. We must help legislators understand what today's educational environment needs if students are to be prepared for the future.

Please join this new network of education advocates at As this new year begins, so does the state's budgeting cycle. Please consider advocating for increased public school funding in basic education, special education and career technical education and sharing your personal story of school funding needs with your state legislators.

State College AAUW Education Committee


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