Sariann’s Thoughts

Pennsylvania’s current school funding system is failing our kids. Our state is not
paying its fair share for public schools. Pennsylvania ranks 45th in the country in
state share of education costs. Far less funding than the 70s and 80s. Only 16%
of the state schools are adequately funded and Nazareth is NOT one of them.
This means that funding falls back on the school board to make up the money by
raising taxes (have a cap on taxes) or cutting programs. OUR SCHOOL BOARD
must press state leaders until the state steps up. Currently,Pennsylvania has a
budget surplus of about $7 billion, as well as a rainy day fund of $5 billion.
In 2014, six Pennsylvania school districts, two statewide organizations (the
Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools, the NAACP-PA State Conference), and
public school parents filed a lawsuit against state legislative leaders, state
education officials, and the governor for failing to uphold the General Assembly’s
constitutional obligation to provide a “thorough and efficient” system of public
education. (William Penn School District et al. v. Pennsylvania Department of Education et al.)

On February 7, 2023, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Renée Cohn
Jubelirer ruled that our state’s school funding system is unconstitutional and must
be reformed. “The court’s order directs the state to change the way it funds our
public schools from the current two-tiered system divided by local wealth to one
that provides sufficient resources for all children.” (The Education Law Center) The
court’s decision does NOT take away money from schools, does NOT require an
increase in local taxes, and does NOT reallocate current funds. School vouchers
and charter school expansion are NOT included in this decision.

“Every child in Pennsylvania has a fundamental right to receive a
comprehensive, effective, and contemporary public education.” (Public Interest Law