Before my husband’s last day of school, he sent me an email with the subject line: “Wanna go?” I opened the message to find an invite to Harrisburg to participate in the Campaign Fair Education Funding Rally on June 23rd. His superintendent had invited everyone to attend the event because “this is a critical issue to all of us.” And he’s right.
In a previous blog post, I ranted about why we need fair funding in Pennsylvania, and today I’m going to tell you what we can do to push for a change.
That little guy up there isn’t so little any more. In fact, he’s heading to Kindergarten in the fall, where I will place him in the care and safety of a complete stranger. To say this freaks me out a bit is an understatement; all parents are apprehensive to leave their children for the first time. As an educator, I’m also worried that the school’s resources won’t be adequate, the curriculum won’t be progressive enough, and that my son won’t learn the skills that build on one another, which is critical to a solid educational foundation.
Worrying is kind of my thing.
I have no control over what goes on at Kindergarten (AHHHH!), but I do have some control over how it is funded, and you do, too.
Campaign for Fair Education Funding Mission:
By the year 2016, Pennsylvania MUST adopt and maintain an adequate and equitable system of funding public education. All public schools, regardless of their tax base, must have access to the resources necessary for all students to meet state academic standards, be prepared for life after schooling, and become contributing members of society.
Why Is It Necessary?
In education, we talk a lot about gaps: achievement gaps, funding gaps, etc. Gaps are bad, you guys, and we have one of the LARGEST in terms of how cash money is distributed to students across the commonwealth. Per pupil spending in PA’s poorest districts is 33 percent less than in PA’s wealthiest districts. Pennsylvania is one of only three other states that doesn’t have a fair funding program, and we currently own the largest funding gap between wealthy and poor students. HERE are 10 other reasons that make me sad and prove why PA is in dire need of funding reform. Our school funding system is broken. I would much rather be known for something else, like having the highest graduation rate, wouldn’t you, Pennsylvania? So let’s do something about it.
How You and I Can Make a Difference:
I know you have a Facebook account. Maybe a Twitter handle? Hey, I bet you have a phone! You can use those things to get involved in the campaign and make a difference for our students. If funding is reformed, students today get a better education, and people like you and me will reap the rewards tomorrow. I never understood why some get so bent out of shape about property taxes; that money goes to local school districts, and funding education is never a bad thing. That said, not all of us have extra cash to throw at the causes near and dear to us, which is OK, but this campaign doesn’t necessarily need the digits of your credit card. This campaign needs your voice:
- Through your children: I shared my son’s two-cents in the Hear Me campaign
- Through their website: sign up for their e-newsletter to receive updates in your inbox
- Through social media: follow #FairFundingPA on Facebook and Twitter for important updates.
- Through your phone: SPEAK UP! Contact your local legislators and attend local events, like the one my husband told me about: the Rally for Fair Funding in Harrisburg on 6/23/15.
- Through Pinterest: Pin either of the graphics below and tag them with #FairFundingPA and #Education
- Through FUN: Join me on 6/15/15 from 1-2pm EST to participate in the #FairFundingPA Twitter party. Let’s break Twitter together!
Click HERE and do your part!