This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Charlotte Pope
Education stakeholders across Pennsylvania are being asked to speak up to influence negotiations for the state’s budget.
Education Voters of Pennsylvania, an advocacy group focused on public education policy, has issued a call to action, scheduled for April 10. Callers are encouraged to contact their state senators, representatives, and Gov. Corbett and ask them to reinstate $270 million in K-12 education funding in this year’s budget and adopt a formula to provide sustainable and predictable funding for school districts.
“As we head into the critical period for budget negotiations, we need to speak up for our priorities," said Susan Gobreski, head of Education Voters of Pennsylvania. “This is a way that regular people who don’t have powerful corporate lobbyists sitting in the governor’s conference room can speak up.”
State support of public schools is $812 million less this year than it was two years ago, an average reduction of about $450 per student, according to Education Voters PA.
The call to action is one piece of the group’s initiative to convince the state to adopt a responsible funding formula.
“We have been disinvesting in schools, we don’t have a funding formula that says we need to provide an adequate education to each child, and the governor is proposing to give out corporate tax breaks instead of supporting our schools in a meaningful way,” Gobreski said.
“This is the wrong direction for our state budget, and the only way we are going to make it better is to tell our elected officials to fix it.”
Charlotte Pope is an intern at the Notebook.