Rep. David Parker Issues Statement

Recently, two statewide organizations with missions pledged to support the highest ideals of Pennsylvania K-12 education, took an opportunity to widely misrepresent my proposed legislation, House Bill 2111, and Equity First, the noble effort to help 900,000 children get fair Basic Education funding faster than 25 years from now.

It’s deeply disappointing to learn statewide organizations are spending time, energy and resources to prevent 900,000 students from receiving their fair share of the state’s $5.8 Billion distribution of Basic Education Funding. Since 1991, too many school districts have been severely underfunded by the most viciously harmful School Funding formula in America. Now, PSBA and PASA want underfunded districts to wait another 25 years. I’m shocked that these organizations are working against the, most vulnerable, poor and underfunded children in Pennsylvania. It’s rotten to the core! My plan would help the very school districts facing hard decisions, like closing high schools, eliminating kindergarten classes and/or raising school property taxes on already overtaxed homeowners.

The Basic Education Funding Commission Report confirms Pennsylvania state government has underfunded school districts since 1991 when poverty, ability to pay and enrollment were politically removed from the Basic Education Funding formula. Since the political adoption of the sinisterly titled, “hold-harmless” policy, the absence of billions of dollars in severely underfunded districts has decimated real estate markets and deprived schools, students and communities of vital resources. Foreclosure rates in some Pennsylvania counties are the highest in the nation. It’s difficult to fully appreciate that we have statewide educational organizations working against these 900,000 children and thousands of struggling taxpayers.

Instead of punishing 900,000 students with another 25 years of underfunding, my legislation, House Bill 2111, speeds funding to underfunded districts. It’s hard to believe PSBA and PASA have stated policies focused on forcing two more generations of Kindergarten students to complete their educations receiving 50% to 200% less than the Basic Education Commission says is fair and reasonable. That’s completely and utterly outrageous.

Accordingly, I call on taxpayers, students, parents and educators to call, tell, write and email their local school boards and superintendents and ask, “Why are you supporting the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) or the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) and their stated public policies to purposely underfund more than a million Kindergarten Students for another 25 years.”

Finally, if these organizations believe their strong arm tactics will deter me, they’re mistaken. I can guarantee I am standing with my students, parents, taxpayers and educators and we will not stop fighting for fair funding for East Stroudsburg, Pocono Mountain, Stroudsburg and other underfunded school districts until we receive what is fair and reasonable!

State Representative
David Parker

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