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POWER Interfaith Ramps Up Pressure on PA’s Basic Education Funding Commission Ahead of Hearings

By August 11, 2023August 15th, 2023No Comments

Grassroots Community Leaders Call for Action from General Assembly as they respond to the newly unveiled schedule to address the Commonwealth’s Unconstitutional School Funding System

Pennsylvania, USA – Demanding long-term solutions for fair funding in Pennsylvania, POWER Interfaith is welcoming a recently unveiled schedule of Basic Education Funding Commission meetings that they hope will result in long-term solutions and commitments to fully and equitably distribute funding to all of Pennsylvania’s public schools.

“POWER Interfaith has been resolute in championing equitable funding for public education for over a decade. February’s Commonwealth Court ruling confirmed what we have long known: the General Assembly’s funding system has denied children the quality education to which they’re entitled. As a testament to POWER’s commitment to building a thriving public education system in Pennsylvania, we pledge our full participation in the upcoming education funding commission hearings,” said Beth Reeves, Lancaster, Co-Chair of POWER Interfaith Statewide Education Taskforce

“Our goal remains that every child in Pennsylvania, regardless of their background, is empowered to access a high-quality education that transcends any barriers of race, language, socioeconomic status, and location – as mandated by our constitution.”

The Basic Education Funding Commission hearings underscore the leadership of State Representative Mike Sturla of Lancaster and Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill of York. The 10 upcoming hearings will provide the potential to reshape Pennsylvania’s education funding trajectory and give communities a long-denied voice in public education funding decision-making:

September 12 in Allentown
September 13 in Harrisburg
September 14 in Philadelphia
September 21 in Lancaster
September 28 in Hanover
October 5 in Hazleton
October 11 in Pittsburgh
October 12 in Lemont Furnace
November 2 in Enola
November 9 in Bedford

Rev. Dr. Gregory James Edwards, POWER Interfaith Chief of Staff, said of the hearings, “Public education works when it’s fully funded; the schools aren’t broken, the funding system’s broken, and the responsibility lies with the General Assembly as found in the commonwealth court. As a movement of advocates statewide, we are ready to amplify the voice of parents, caretakers, and educators at the commission meetings across the state. We come with expectations for our lawmakers to not only listen but to take action, delivering a comprehensive solution that our students need to thrive.”

The pressure campaign is the latest step in a decade-long effort to end racial and other discrimination in school funding. POWER previously testified to the BEF Commission in 2014, resulting in a fair funding formula free of systemic racial biases. Still, the commonwealth legislators applied the formula only to new funding, locking systemic racism into Pennsylvania’s school funding structure.

“The time is now for our communities’ voices to be amplified and our children’s needs to be prioritized. Recent developments underscore the urgency to address educational funding disparities, and it is our solemn responsibility to ensure that Pennsylvania’s children, no matter the color of their skin, are fully and fairly resourced. As grassroots community leaders, our resolve remains unyielding in the pursuit of a robust public education system that empowers every child to excel and prosper,” said John Barnett Co-Chair POWER Interfaith Statewide Education Taskforce, Chester Springs

For media inquiries, please contact: Arielle Cohen,