It’s no secret that education funding has been a sticking point in the state legislature, and people on my side of the aisle have long advocated for changes to the funding formula. to make it fair.
In addition to making it fair, increasing funding to the poorest schools would potentially be a game-changer for these students and their communities. Imagine children going to state-of-the-art schools – no matter where they live – and teachers entering buildings where they will teach for 30 years and not contract a fatal disease because these schools are no longer poisonous and poisonous to humans. .
I say this all the time, but I think we can all agree that our children are our future. They deserve the best, regardless of their zip code. The Governor’s budget proposal this year goes a long way to ensuring they receive the best education by adding more than $2 billion to education funds, all without raising taxes.
We can do this because we now have excess revenue from an influx of US bailout dollars and higher than expected state revenue funds – up to $10 billion. But my colleagues across the aisle prefer to save it for a rainy day. Let’s be clear, it’s raining now!
It’s time to put that money back in Pennsylvania, and our children should be the first to benefit from this investment.
That extra money would represent a 24% increase in funding statewide to help school districts like Philadelphia’s. Currently, Philadelphia spends just over $13,000 per student, while the rest of the state spends an average of $17,000 per student.
Children who start learning early, in turn, are successful throughout their lives. The budget proposal adds a 25% increase to pre-K funding. There’s no better place to lend a helping hand than on day one, in the pre-K programs.
When we have full state support for school funding, it helps keep the line on property taxes and ultimately eases the burden on homeowners.
The lack of resources in some neighborhoods can be directly correlated to the lack of land revenue in those neighborhoods. Why, then, when we have a huge surplus statewide, wouldn’t we invest it in our schools? In our children? In our future?
Education is the way forward and every child should have this opportunity. We have the ability to make that happen in June when the state budget comes. Let’s make it happen and see where this investment takes us. But more importantly, where does this take our children.
Darisha Parker is the State Representative for Philadelphia’s 198th Legislative District.