We invite you to join an important effort to help ensure that the Pennsylvania legislature and Governor Shapiro take action to develop a constitutional school funding system in the commonwealth.
We are asking individuals to submit public comments to the Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC) calling on commission members to issue a final report outlining a clear plan that will ensure public education is adequately and equitably funded across the state in accordance with the Commonwealth Court’s decision.
The Basic Education Funding Commission’s plan must
- include adequacy targets for each school district and
- lay out a reasonable timeline for the state to fully fund a constitutionally compliant school funding system.
Click HERE to submit a public comment to the Basic Education Funding Commission. We suggest that you write your comment first, and then copy and paste it into the form.
As you know, Pennsylvania’s school funding system was declared unconstitutional in February of this year. In his budget address on March 7th, Governor Josh Shapiro stated, “[The judge’s] remedy was for us to get around the table and come up with a solution that ensures every child has access to a thorough and efficient education.”
Pennsylvania’s Basic Education Funding Commission is the table Governor Shapiro referred to.
The BEFC is a bipartisan bicameral group of 12 lawmakers and three representatives from the governor’s administration. Since September the BEFC has been conducting hearings to gather testimony from educators, parents, advocates, and education policy experts. Commission hearings will conclude in mid-November.
In addition to gathering formal testimony during meetings, the BEFC is also seeking public comments from Pennsylvanians.
We have serious concerns that the legislature and Governor Shapiro may continue to kick the can down the road and fail to develop and fund a constitutional school funding system beginning with the 2024-2025 state budget.
Please take a few minutes to send a thoughtful, personal comment to the Basic Education Funding Commission. Your voice matters and your comments would be very helpful in ensuring BEFC members understand the expectations that Pennsylvanians have for their report, which will inform budget proposals next year.
In your comments, please make sure to:
- Include the name of your school district.
- Share the reason this issue is important to you and, if possible, give examples of what adequate, equitable, and constitutional state funding would mean for children in your community.
- Call on members of the BEFC to issue a report that contains a clear and thorough calculation of how much money each school district needs (known as adequacy targets).in order for the state to meet its constitutional obligation to our students.
- Call on members to include a reasonable timeline for the state to meet its share of funding for those targets.
If you have questions or concerns or if there is any way that we can help you spread the word about this with your networks or support you in this work, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Susan Spicka, executive director, Education Voters of PA– firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra Miller, advocacy coordinator, Education Voters of PA– Sandra@educationvoterspa.org
PS: Join us in Harrisburg on Tuesday, November 14th, as we help prepare the Basic Education Funding Commission for its final report.
We will gather on the front Capitol steps (rain or shine) with our giant report card to tell Governor Shapiro and members of the Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC) that their final report must include a clear and thorough calculation of how much each school district needs to meet the constitutional obligation to our students (known as adequacy targets) AND a reasonable timeline for the implementation of their plan.