ABOVE PHOTO: Chris Rabb
State Rep. Chris Rabb, (D-Phila.,) hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing recently to discuss the moral implications and practical solutions to addressing Pennsylvania’s ranking as the worst state in the U.S. on public education funding equity.
Rabb was joined by state legislators from across the state, many of whom are advocates for a fair and equitable funding formula, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, (D-Lancaster,) who previously served on the Basic Education Funding Commission, Rep. James Roebuck, chairman of the House Democratic Education Committee and Rep. Jason Dawkins, chairman of the Philadelphia County Delegation.
“We had the opportunity to talk to advocates and superintendents from across the state to see how the current inequities in funding are impacting students. This open dialogue gave us great insight into how we can move forward to make changes to directly reach the students and districts that need resources most,” Rabb explained.
Sturla added, “As a member of the Basic Education Funding Commission, I had the opportunity to help craft the current funding formula. Unfortunately, the formula only applies to new dollars invested in education. We really need to find a way to accelerate that equitable funding to ensure that generations of students are not left behind.”
The committee heard testimony from Christopher Dormer, superintendent, Norristown School District; Dr. Daniel McGarry, superintendent, Upper Darby School District; Dr. Damaris Rau, superintendent, School District of Lancaster; Stephen Rodriguez, superintendent, Pottstown School District; Jerry Jordan, president, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers; Deborah Gordon Klehr, executive director, Education Law Center; Marc LeBlond, senior policy analyst, Commonwealth Foundation; David Lapp, director of policy research, Research for Action; Kelly Lewis, president & CEO, Lewis Strategic PLLC; and Michael Churchill, attorney, The Public Interest Law Center.
The meeting was one in a series held across the state on the House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first, good jobs, affordable health care, quality schools and a fair economy. Additional information about the plan is available at www.plan4pa.com.