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PFT Advocates for New Funding Formula in State Capitol Rally

PFTLeaders from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers traveled to Harrisburg today to advocate the need for sustainable funding in the state’s public schools.

In light of the looming budget deadline, they need action to take place quickly, or they will need to wait another year to see additional funding for their schools.

“Pennsylvania is one of three states without a funding formula for education,” said PFT president Jerry Jordan while petitioning in the Capitol. “The result has been massive budget cuts and huge deficits for school districts like Philadelphia, where students don’t have enough counselors, school nurses, certified librarians and other programs and services.”

In PA, schools are funded mostly via local property taxes, often leading low-income communities’ public schools to be significantly under-funded in comparison to those of wealthier districts. The funding formula Jordan mentions would ensure that more state dollars would go to communities with lower local funding, thereby leveling the playing field and providing all schools with the same funding.

The state legislature instituted such a formula in 2008 during Gov. Ed Rendell’s tenure, but the legislation was reversed in 2011 after Gov. Tom Corbett was elected to office.

The PFT leaders spent the morning in face-to-face meetings with legislators, followed by an afternoon rally and press conference in the Rotunda. They were joined by PA Representatives Cherelle Parker, James Roebuck, Louise Williams Bishop, Ronald Waters and Steven Kinsey and State Senator Vincent Hughes.

State Senator Hughes has introduced legislation that would provide public schools with additional annual funding through an extraction tax on Marcellus shale drilling. In addition to Hughes’ proposed legislation, the PFT supports legislation that would create a cigarette tax for additional public school funding.

They also voiced their opposition of several pieces of legislation while at the Capitol, including the proposed reformation of PA’s current layoff-by-seniority rules and the Corbett-Tobash pension plan.

“Not only will these pieces of legislation hurt working Pennsylvanians,” Jordan stated, “they are a needless distraction from what should be the primary focus of the legislature—passing a budget that keeps school districts out of crisis mode and helps to guarantee a better future for our children.”

7 Responses

  1. It is time for all of us to insist on and to support adequate funding for public education based on a plan similar to what we had under Governor Rendell. Every election shouldn’t be an excuse for theoretical approaches that only aid to dismantle the public schools ability to function.

    Charter Schools are a worthy idea to experiment with AFTER THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE ADEQUATELY FUNDED!

    The diversion of public funds to private schools instead of a concentration of funds on making public schools work for the mass of people is only aided by the fight about formulas that takes place every time the politicians want to abrogate their fundamental responsibility of the State to properly support the public school system.

  2. The Chester County controller Norman Macqueen leads the Great valley school district area, s republican party. Our school districts gets. screws state aid money. But the Wanner assoc. Philadelphia federation union pushes the philadephia union to get more of all our state money by jacking our taxes. Curiously is that Macqueen supports William (Alex) Rahn who works for Wanner lobbyist.
    Rahn is a Republican executive on the county gop committee and is friends with Macqueen. GOP Rahn & family donated already almost Democrat candidates almost $10, 000.
    But yet Macqueen follows Rahn advice. Chesco schools get shortchanged while Rahn’s firm Wanner is pushing lobbyist for push of more taxpayers money to the Philadelphia union while Chesco schools get screwed.
    Something is wrong with people named Rahn & Macqueen on Republicans leadership.
    Macqueen is on Republican state committee.
    We should be suporting Gov Corbett a good Governor. Rahn seems to be pushing Philadelphians unions. And Macqueen is Rahn’s buddy.
    Something is wrong.

  3. Malvern chester county gets less than 13% from state and local period pays 86% locally taxes. Every every district is shorted. (Examples like ridley & springfield on delaware as stuffed)so money is pushed for Philadelphia. Philadephia gets over 56% and only pays less 33% local so philadephia can waste money and sticks the residents of the state to pay increase on philly students so philly spends money on the other themes

  4. Watch – check your math – Philadelphia provides more tax revenue to state coffers than it gets back. Your boogie man does not stand up to math.

  5. Ron – all so guys like Vaughn Gureghian can build their Main Line chateauxs, buy politicians, and attack anyone who criticizes him!

  6. The Philadelphia only receives around 33% funds from the city.Philadephia wastes the money on elsewhere. Philadelphia gets over 44% from the state and 12% from the federal funds. Most residents on Pennsylvania pay between 80% _ 86% from local taxes for local schools. Philadephia wastes money and shorts schools then trys to stick ever else body in the state ripping everybody. The push by locals won’t will get much while stolen by Philly.
    Philadephia Federation Union has its lobbyists at Wanner Associates pushing for more sent to Philadelphia from everyone taxpayer Across residents. Curiously one Wanner assoc named William alex Rahn is now a Republican committee power in Chester County covering western GOP Honeybrook, etc. Usual counties get stuck while Philadelphia gets everybodies money from the rest of state
    Wanner lobbyists and Alex Rahn should be observed as this proceeds

  7. Stop the charter schools from stealing millions from the public schools. Charters are killing our public schools. Cyber-charters are an even bigger scam.

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