Our Latest Talking Points

  • Stop the billion dollar school funding cut now! The Governor’s budget proposal includes more than $1 billion in cuts for public schools and is an outrageous assault on children, families, and Pennsylvania’s economic future.
    • The Governor has proposed that public school funding be cut by more than $1 billion, including the elimination of funds that support full-day kindergarten, class size reduction, many pre-K programs, and K-12 instruction.
  • Cutting education funding would undermine our economic recovery. The future of our state depends on an educated, skilled workforce. Investing in our students now will prepare them for jobs of the future and lead to economic strength for Pennsylvania.
    • The majority of new jobs will require at least some postsecondary education.  Our students must be ready for college and careers when they graduate from high school if they are to be successful later in life.
    • Money matters. It pays for a quality curriculum. It funds smaller class-sizes, which are vital, especially in the elementary years; high-quality pre-K and more full-day kindergarten classes; more advanced courses for gifted students; tutoring programs for struggling students; up-to-date teaching materials and technology; and rigorous classes system-wide.
  • Failure to maintain current levels of education funding would turn back the clock and threaten the substantial academic progress our students have made in recent years.
    • Student achievement is up. Test scores have increased dramatically as funding levels have risen. Last year, 76.3 percent of students achieved proficiency in math and 72 percent in reading, up from 58 percent in math and 65.6 percent in reading seven years ago.
  • Deep cuts in state funding would result in cutting programs that work for children or shifting the tax burden to local homeowners’ property taxes – or both.
    • Across the state, newspapers are reporting on school district plans to eliminate full-day kindergarten, cut pre-K classes, increase class size, drop tutoring programs, lay off teachers and other staff, eliminate professional development for teachers, postpone replacing antiquated educational technology and textbooks, and charge fees for extracurricular activities.
    • Many school boards are also considering larger tax increases than they have in recent years.  School districts anticipated some state budget cuts, but the magnitude of necessary local tax increases became clear only after school leaders saw the Governor’s budget proposal and its massive education cuts March 8.
    • Our property taxes already are high because the state share of school spending is so low – 36 percent in Pennsylvania compared with a 48 percent national average.  The billion dollar state funding reduction would drop the state share even further.
  • We understand the short-term economic conditions the state is facing and the difficult choices the General Assembly must make.  But we need a more fair approach.  Let’s not balance the budget on the backs of our children or shift the education funding burden to local property owners.
    • Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly oppose the proposed cut in public school funding according to a recent statewide Franklin and Marshall poll.  The poll asked respondents which of 14 measures they support “as a way for the state of Pennsylvania to balance its budget.”  There was more support for all the options, including raising taxes and fees, than there was for cutting school funding.
  • The Governor is calling for shared sacrifice, but his pain is targeted at children and families, especially in the neediest communities.  When the family budget is strained, most Pennsylvania families place the needs of their children first – not last.  The state should do no less.

Prepared by the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign, an unprecedented coalition of more than 30 statewide and regional education and advocacy organizations representing hundreds of thousands of parents, students, educators, school board members, administrators, and other concerned citizens advocating for adequate and equitable funding of Pennsylvania’s public schools. For additional information, please go to www.paschoolfunding.org or contact The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC) at 717-260-9900.

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