PURPOSELY PUNISHING PENNSYLVANIA KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS
(Harrisburg, PA) – Unless Pennsylvania Governor Wolf acts swiftly, kindergarten students at 150 school districts will remain underfunded for their entire K-12 educations. Clearly, this is punishment by zip code.
All who have eyes, all who have ears.
I see buildings burn, riots pillage, people rant, but sadly no one cares about the 800,000 kids that are short-changed $1.22 Billion every year. $1.22 Billion!
While 350 over-funded school districts have celebrated the 2016 passage of House Bill 1552, the Basic Education Funding formula, Kindergarten students in 150 school districts won’t experience fair-funding in Basic Education funding, by far the state’s largest budget allocation in the annual General Fund budget. 350 districts are overfunded by $1.22 Billion dollars, leaving 150 districts underfunded by $1.22 Billion. Ouch!
FAIRNESS HAS ANOTHER DEFINITION IN PENNSYLVANIA
A book once proclaimed, ‘everything you need to know, you learned in Kindergarten.’ We called it brutal truth. ‘Today, Kindergarten students and other students, taxpayers and educators are learning the bitter-truth from Harrisburg, that fairness has another definition in Pennsylvania for students from 150 school districts will remain underfunded for their whole K-12 experience.’
“My beloved Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Tucker, would be appalled,” said Kelly Lewis, Chairman of Equity First, and a former state legislator. “All of the facts and figures demonstrate the negative impacts to students, taxpayers, educators and the real estate market values in distressed districts. These kindergarten kids will never know fair funding.’ He opined, ‘I can’t believe the big property owners and their lawyers in these famous cities don’t demand something big to fix this.’
Kindergarten students in 150 school districts across Pennsylvania will remain underfunded throughout their entire K-12 academic careers. Apparently, “that’s OK.” School districts like Reading, Allentown, York City, Wilkes-Barre and Scranton are among the most affected.
With CARES Act funds, the Governor and General Assembly have a unique opportunity to allocate $1.22 Billion to fix the massive inequity and get every districts to their baseline funding allocation.
“Be kinda nice to see this year’s Kindergarten class graduate high school with full-and fair funding,”
The Mission of Equity First: Everyone at Equity First is focused on fixing Pennsylvania’s discriminatory funding systems for school funding and other government programs.
Implement the findings of the bipartisan Basic and Special Education Funding Commissions:
- Every school district receives their equitable allocation of all school funding.
- Establish the School District Consolidation Fund to encourage the efficient consolidation of school districts.
- Cap the Fund Balance and Reserve Fund account balances at 18%.
- Establish a Cost Savings Commission to scrutinize all K-12 spending to implement cost-saving strategies.