At Corbett's Philly office, 100 press for 'fair' funding formula for schools
by thenotebook on Dec 10 2013 Posted in Latest news
by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks
More than a hundred students, teachers, parents, community members and labor activists rallied Monday at Gov. Corbett's Philadelphia office, demanding an equitable education funding formula.
Philadelphia was one of 90 cities nationwide in which education advocates gathered to stage events designed to highlight "how dis-investment in public education is damaging our communities."
In the wintry dusk of South Broad Street, the group halted traffic as it chanted call-and-response attacks on the governor's education record, later marching around City Hall as both the temperature and the light fell in the frigid December air.
The formula would qualify as "fair," advocates say, if the state used a transparent, data-driven metric when portioning out its education budget to its 500 school districts.
The ideal metric would divert more money to school districts that serve a higher percentage of students thought to be more expensive to educate -– those in poverty, with a disability, or still learning English, they say.
"Pennsylvania is one of three states that doesn't have one," said Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. "We need a formula."
This type of formula, advocates say, would go a long way toward improving educational outcomes in urban districts such as Philadelphia.
"I'm not talking about any frills," said Jordan, "but the kind of services and programs that children have in schools in surrounding districts."