This afternoon, PFT President Jerry Jordan shared the following with PFT members:
Dear PFT Members,
Our fight for fair and equitable education funding continues. And this year's budget, finished by the State Legislature last evening, did very little to get us there. It was a woefully inadequate budget that, amidst a $10B surplus in the state's coffers, passed up this potentially once in a lifetime opportunity to make serious investment in public education.
Instead, elected officials decided to put more money in their coffers to save for a 'rainy day.' This is an abject failure, and to call it a disappointment is an understatement.
The school code bill, SB381, outlines funding for our schools. And here's what it does:
Provides $200M in additional basic education funding
Provides $100M for a new 'level up' program to be distributed to the 100 most underfunded districts
Increases vouchers (EITC) funding by $40M
This year, Governor Wolf proposed an additional more than $1BILLION in funding for public education funding. And he proposed moving all funding through the fair funding formula. But we're left with a fraction of that proposed increase, and only 11% of funding going through the formula. Governor Wolf has indicated that he will sign this budget.
While some elected officials are touting this budget as a success, make no mistake that this budget is a profoundly unacceptable document that has real life implications. Read the statement I issued in advance of the vote right here.
I urge you to check whether your Senator and Representative voted in favor or against this terrible legislation. Remember, a NO vote is a vote aligned with our position, and a rejection of continued austerity in the face of a $10B surplus. We asked elected officials to VOTE NO. If your elected officials voted NO, call them to thank them. If your elected officials voted YES, call them to let them know you're disappointed. I will send action alerts in the coming days, but in the mean time, please call your Senators and Reps. You can find their contact information right here.
Our work continues, and as Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta told us this morning at the AFTPA convention, we must "remain undeterred."
How Did Your Senator Vote?
How Did Your Representative Vote?