This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Good Schools PA, a statewide organization working for public education reform, is bringing groups of citizens to Harrisburg every day the state legislature is in session until the end of June to encourage legislators to fund schools in a way that will provide an equal and adequate education for children.
The campaign, called “Stand for Children,” will bring high school and college students, clergy members, parents, educators, and other citizens together in a sustained presence at the capital to call for change.
Good Schools PA says citizens will be there to remind Governor Rendell and state legislators that Pennsylvania will only be able to improve its school outcomes when funding is adequate and distributed on an equitable basis to all of the state’s schoolchildren.
Campaign Director Nellie Sepulveda says that both equity and adequacy are at the heart of the Stand for Children. “It takes more money to educate students who live in high poverty areas, or have special needs such as learning disabilities or English as a second language. This is why we campaign for both equity and adequacy,” she says.
On February 12, the Philadelphia Student Union led over 100 students to Harrisburg as part of the Stand for Children.
Busloads of Philadelphians will head to Harrisburg again on May 5 for the Stand for Children’s “Philadelphia Day.”
Good Schools PA Field Director Beth Olanoff encourages students to attend, saying that, as the people most directly impacted by inadequate school funding, students have an especially significant voice in the debate.
Olanoff advises individuals who want to support the Stand for Children but are unable to participate in any of the trips to Harrisburg to call or write their legislators and express support for adequate and equal funding for all children in Pennsylvania.
For more information or to participate in the Stand for Children’s Philadelphia Day on May 5, contact Good Schools PA at 215-332-2700 or see www.goodschoolspa.org.