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The Campaign for Fair Education Funding Launches Effort to Ensure Access to Quality Education for Every PA Student

The Campaign for Fair Education Funding Launches Effort to Ensure Access to Quality Education for Every PA Student

More than 40 Organizations Join Statewide Initiative to Change Funding Formula

A coalition of more than 40 organizations today kicked off the Campaign for Fair Education Funding to ensure that every student has access to a quality education – no matter where they live.

“Every child deserves a chance to succeed. We need a fair, sustainable and predictable method for funding public schools that recognizes the shared responsibility we all have – and the shared benefits we all receive – when every Pennsylvania child gets that opportunity,” said campaign manager Kathy Manderino.

The Campaign’s member organizations include educators, labor, business groups, faith-based organizations, child advocates, charter schools, traditional public schools and representatives from rural, urban and growing school districts.

David W. Patti, President and CEO of the PA Business Council, said that the business community recognizes that a quality education is essential for the state’s future.

“Business people across the state know that we all lose when students don’t have a fair chance to succeed. We all lose when we cannot find skilled men and women to fill jobs and move our economy forward,” Patti said. “Consensus is tough to find in some areas but every member of this campaign agrees on the need for a fair and predictable funding system for every student.”

Patti heads just one of the state’s leading business groups that have joined the campaign. At today’s news conference, he was joined by Mike Crossey, President of the Pennsylvania State Education Association and Bob Fayfich, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, among other varied interests. A complete list of current members is available.

“This is a very diverse coalition, representing a lot of different views and ideas about public education, but we are absolutely united in this effort.” said Mike Crossey. “We need to change the way we fund our public schools, make the system fair and equitable, and invest in our greatest resource – Pennsylvania’s children.”

Manderino noted that the campaign’s launch coincides with the on-going work of the Basic Education Funding Commission and the recognition that more and more school districts are in dire financial straits.

“Our member organizations believe that the time to act is now because we cannot wait any longer,” Manderino added. “Every year we wait means another year in which many students will lack the resources and support they need and deserve. This leaves them further behind and ultimately puts the commonwealth at a disadvantage in creating a well-educated, competitive workforce.”

Watch the complete news conference: