Category: Newsworthy

Newsworthy

Pennsylvania Fair Funding Formula Signed into Law

Pennsylvania is no longer one of only three states without a fair funding formula. With HB 1552 signed into law in early June after passing with a vote of 188-3, we now have a formula that directs money to districts based upon objective factors. These include enrollment and student needs, as well as the wealth of school districts and their capacity to raise local revenues.

While a long-awaited and welcome development, this formula focuses on how to distribute funds, not the actual amounts available for distribution to school districts around the state. The inadequate levels of state funding over the past years have led to a heavy reliance on local property taxes and accounted for the largest disparity of any state in the country between wealthy and poor districts, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). In a classroom of 25 students, for example, this difference amounts to $78,550.

NCES also ranks Pennsylvania as number 46 in funding for public education, or a mere 36.1 percent of total outlay. In 1974, the state was funding public education to the tune of 54 percent.
The Public Interest Law Center is calling for a gradual increase in state funding of between $3.2 and $4.3 billion. The governor’s proposal of a $400 million increase to public education in 2016-17 is a good beginning. We urge you to contact your legislators over the coming weeks and ensure we keep the positive momentum going.

07Jun
Newsworthy

Los Angeles Times to Bill Gates: Stop Trying to Run the Nation’s Schools!

This is a remarkable editorial that appears in the Los Angeles Times, of all places. The headline tells a story we did not expect to read on this newspaper’s editorial page: Gates Foundation failures...

17May
Newsworthy

Seth Meyers: ‘There is something wrong with the way our society values’ teachers

Seth Meyers during the premiere of his new late night talk show, “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” in February 2014. (Peter Kramer/NBC via AP) Seth Meyers came to the defense of Detroit teachers in a big...

17May
Newsworthy

Public school advocates call for bigger investment in education

With the 2016-17 state budget-making season now upon us, a coalition of advocates from across Pennsylvania came to the state Capitol to call on lawmakers to increase the state’s investment in public...

15May
Newsworthy

Girls Outperform Boys on First NAEP Technology, Engineering Test

On the first national assessment of technology and engineering skills, 8th grade girls scored higher on average than 8th grade boys. And suburban and rural students significantly outscored their peers in...

15May
Newsworthy

The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries

When we don’t get the results we want in our military endeavors, we don’t blame the soldiers. We don’t say, “It’s these lazy soldiers and their bloated benefits plans! That’s why we haven’t...