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Press Release: POWER Urges State Lawmakers to End Budget Stalemate

By August 6, 2015January 15th, 2016No Comments

Press Release: POWER Supports Governor’s Education Budget

Contact:  David Mosenkis, POWER Education Committee Co-Chair

POWER, an interfaith network of churches, synagogues and mosques in Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley, today called on Pennsylvania legislators to put the children of the Commonwealth first and end the budget deadlock that is preventing passage of a funding plan for Pennsylvania schools.  POWER urged the speedy passage of a budget that includes an increase of $410 million in Basic Education for FY 2015-16 and distributes the new funds according to the “Restoration Budget” proposed by Governor Wolf.  That distribution weights increases for this year toward districts such as Philadelphia that suffered the most drastic funding cuts under the Corbett administration.  David Mosenkis, co-chair of POWER’s Education Committee said “While The Coalition for Fair Education Funding estimates that a $3.6 billion increase in education funding is needed to provide for sufficient resources for school districts across Pennsylvania, we see the governor’s proposal as an important first step.”

POWER also reiterates its support for the funding formula approved by the Basic Education Commission and strongly advises the Governor and General Assembly to agree on an implementation of the formula that brings Pennsylvania’s funding in line with the formula as quickly as possible.  In particular, POWER insists that districts currently receiving less than their fair share of funding according to the formula receive first priority in allocating future funding increases.  Mosenkis noted that “it is not sufficient to merely distribute future funding increases according to the formula, as that would leave the deep racial bias and other inequities in the current year’s funding in place for decades to come.”

POWER has been actively working to promote the adoption of a fully funded and fair formula for the distribution of education funds for the last two years. POWER successfully influenced the state Basic Education Funding Commission to propose a formula that not only fairly distributes funds among all school districts across the state, but also eliminates the racial disparities that previously existed in the funding process.  POWER has collaborated with education advocacy groups across the state to make education funding the top political issue presently facing the legislature. As people of faith and conscience, POWER views education funding as not simply a political or financial issue, but also a moral issue of the highest order. For that reason the entire POWER network will continue to work until every child in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has access to quality public school education.

Contact:  David Mosenkis, POWER Education Committee Co-Chair