A lot happened in Harrisburg this week.

On Tuesday, the Senate Education Committee passed Senate Bill 795, a private school voucher bill that would provide cash handouts to families to pay for their children’s private education. All Republicans on the committee along with Democratic Senator Anthony Williams voted for the bill. All other Democrats on the committee voted against it.

Organizations opposed to private school vouchers signed this letter, which was sent to all state lawmakers. I also hand delivered the letter to Governor Shapiro’s office after the committee meeting. The Senate is now in recess until June.

Every lawmaker who votes to support vouchers votes to support discrimination against students.

The recent New Republic article, “Pennsylvania Taxpayers are Funding Discriminatory Religious Schools. Private schools can reject disabled applicants, expel LGBTQ students, and teach creationism all they want–even though hundreds of millions of public dollars flow to them every year,” is an important piece that exposes what taxpayers are funding in PA.

On a much happier note, the PA Schools Work coalition hosted our biggest advocacy day ever on Wednesday, May 8th!

More than 600 people attended, including members representing more than 20 different organizations. Advocates from Erie to Philadelphia and from Lackawanna, Luzerne and Monroe to Allegheny Counties and everywhere in between rallied at noon on the Capitol steps. And we had 83 meetings with our state lawmakers!!

Lawmakers are actively negotiating the state budget and deciding how much state funding they will invest in education. Our advocacy day sent a clear, loud, and direct message that Pennsylvanians in every corner of the commonwealth–from rural, urban, and suburban schools and from rich and poor districts–are united in their demand that lawmakers do their jobs and fund our schools.

We also helped secure 27 more cosponsors on a brand new House co-sponsorship memo showing growing support for the 7-year plan to fully fund schools!

Please stay tuned for updates on the state budget for education funding and how you can help. There will be a lot happening over the next eight weeks and it is going to take all of us to get Harrisburg to support the constitutional public school funding students need and deserve. And don’t forget–It’s the PA legislature’s job to fund our schools. It’s time for them to #FinishtheJob!

As always, we are very grateful to be doing this work together,

If you haven’t already, please take a look at your school district fact sheet to learn how much funding your district would receive if state lawmakers supported the proposed public school funding plan. And then call your state lawmakers and ask them to support the proposal for constitutional public school funding–with NO NEW VOUCHERS!