HARRISBURG, PA – Gov. Tom Wolf presented a game-changing budget proposal to the General Assembly on Feb. 3 that would provide an additional $1.5 Billion to his 2021-22 budget proposal: We applaud the Governor’s continuing efforts in making this wide-reaching commitment to our public schools which will be distributed to schools for their primary operations in addition to $6.8 billion currently received. For the sixth consecutive year, Governor Wolf is proposing increased investments in both early childhood and K-12 education, alongside several key areas of need which will help to reduce Pennsylvania’s gap between the richest and poorest districts – the largest of any state.
Over the last decade POWER Interfaith has made steadfast efforts in Pennsylvania’s fight for fair and adequate school funding. For the first time, Wolf’s administration is moving the majority of funds through the more just and equitable Fair Funding Formula.
We know we must continue to keep the pressure on our state legislators. It is up to the Pennsylvania House and Senate to decide whether to adopt the governor’s proposed budget and ensure this money is distributed equitably to undo system-level disparities between the school districts with larger numbers of students of color versus predominantly white districts. We must push for the policies that will create great schools for all students throughout the Commonwealth. Too many of our elected leaders refuse to take the necessary steps towards creating a more just system.
“Budgets are moral documents. This greatly increased education budget, with the majority distributed in a more equitable way, reflects the commitment of our interfaith leaders to the students of Pennsylvania and the future of the Commonwealth. Since the time of Gov. Corbett and for the last 6 years we have called on Gov. Wolf to fully fund and fairly distribute the resources needed to educate our students and we are glad to see him answer our call.” – Bishop Dwayne Royster, POWER Interfaith Executive Director
“Governor Wolf’s proposal is a huge improvement for Black and Brown students across the state. While it does not eliminate the systemic racial bias in the state funding, it takes a major step towards increasing overall state funding towards an adequate amount, and distributing it in a more equitable way.”- David Mosenkis, Chair of POWER Interfaith Statewide Education Justice Team
“We have been fighting for full and fair state education funding. Now with the pandemic, our already underfunded school districts across the state are facing severe budget cuts. Pennsylvania must act to fix its deeply flawed and immoral system of funding its schools. We don’t have a minute or child to spare.”- Rochelle Nichols-Solomon, POWER Interfaith
“We need educated people to understand our systems of government, in order to have a functional democracy we need to have an educated Pennsylvania. This investment in our students is an investment in the future of our democracy.” Marlene Armato, POWER Interfaith Pottstown, Statewide Education Justice Team
“Governor Wolf’s proposed budget will help bend the ‘arc of the moral universe’ in the right direction for all Pennsylvanians. When we do what’s right for children, we all benefit and prosper.
By increasing and prioritizing funding for public education, especially for early childhood, we begin dismantling the system of educational apartheid that has long held the hopes and future of Pennsylvania’s children and families hostage.” Rev. Dr. Gregory J. Edwards – Director, POWER LV
“After years of POWER Interfaith rallying in the Rotunda of the State Capitol, we celebrate today that our voices have been heard. There are no words to describe what this means for School Districts with a higher percentage of Black and Brown students. To receive more equitable education funding, regardless to the student or the zip code, is an astounding victory!” –Reverend Dr. Patricia S. McAllister, POWER Interfaith Lancaster.