Letter to the editor: Pa. must make school funding a priority
The article “29 New Ken-Arnold teachers on furlough list” highlights the harm inadequate state funding inflicts on students and communities. Currently, Pennsylvania ranks 47th in the nation in state share for public schools.
If the state would fully fund the fair funding formula for education that was enacted two years ago, New Kensington-Arnold would receive an additional $8,535,924 in state funding each year. If the state paid its fair share of school funding, the district would not be furloughing teachers and increasing property taxes year after year. Instead, the district would be educating children in schools with class sizes small enough for students to receive personal attention, a full range of courses from science to music and art, up-to-date books and technology, guidance counselors to help students with their career decisions, and so much more.
It's time for the Pennsylvania Legislature to make adequate funding for public schools a top priority in the 2018-19 budget and moving forward. Every year that passes without fixing the state's school funding means thousands more children will not get the educational opportunities they need to reach their potential.
The writer is executive director of Education Voters of PA ( www.educationvoterspa.org ). She will moderate a discussion about state funding for public education in Westmoreland County at 7 p.m. May 17 at the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit.