I am working with the Campaign for Fair Education Funding, and I am helping speak out for students across Pennsylvania. I am being compensated, but the opinions are my own. #FairFundingPA
A zip code should not determine whether a child has an adequate education and a chance to succeed. However as a Community Coordinator for Immigrants, I witness the disparities among districts first hand when I go on school visits. My township, Upper Darby, spends $12,934 per student. Cross over West Chester Pike to Haverford Township, and spending is $16,578 per student. Take another straight drive across Church Lane into Philadelphia and the spending is $20,173. Each may have different amounts of funding received, but should the quality of education offered to students vastly vary as well? The Campaign for Fair Education Funding (hyperlink website) is fighting for all students to be given a fair shot of success.
Without context, the numbers suggest that there is enough money in the three areas for educational success. However, due to the high number of immigrant children in Upper Darby and Philadelphia, the districts receive some Title III to, assist English Language Learners (ELL). If the population shifts, and the ELL students move to other districts, this will impact the funding in these two school districts. The Campaign for Fair Education Funding proposal takes into account the ELL population and the number of students experiencing poverty.
A 2008-2009 studied showed that many “high-poverty schools receive less than their fair share of state and local funding, leaving students in high-poverty schools with fewer resources than schools attended by their wealthier peers.” This is a reminder of my days as a school student in Philadelphia. Students shared textbooks because there wasn’t weren’t enough for our already overcrowded class. Homework was sometimes a faded photocopy, because again, there were not enough workbooks for the class. When my husband and I decided to make Upper Darby our home, I was overjoyed when my daughter brought home books that needed covering.
One of my duties as a Community Coordinator is teaching English as a Second Language. The program is a compliment to the English Language Learners program. I have a student who recently joined a smaller beginners’ class. She could barely hold back tears as she wrote her name for the first time. The next time she attended class, her notebook was covered with her name and the letters of the alphabet. The joy that exuded from this student was palpable. Imagine how a child will feel if they could have access to programs that can provide them with the same opportunities to reach their full potential! That’s the goal of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding.
The Campaign for Fair Education Funding is designed so that no child has to suffer educationally based on a zip code.
This campaign shows that adequate funding can lead to different futures for children who originally had little options. Think about the child who is struggling to read. If the child is able to read proficiently by fourth grade, he is less likely to drop out of school and more likely to attend college.
Our children cannot continue to suffer! We have to take action.
Support the Campaign.
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Contact Your State Legislators.
It only takes 5 minutes to tell your lawmakers to give students in every school a fair shot at academic success. Please send this important message to your legislator.
Speak Out On Social Media
Stay abreast of the campaign by following the campaign on Twitter and Facebook.
Spare a tweet to tell your lawmakers to give students in every school a fair shot at academic success.
Get in touch with your state Representative and Senator.
Then, find their Twitter handle.
Finally, tag them in this Tweet:
Please enact a public school funding system that gives every child a fair chance to meet academic standards #FairFundingPA
Participate in an Event.
Call to Action for Public Education Monday, June 15
Your voice can be amplified by attending a Twitter party on Monday, June 15 from 1PM to 2PM. Join other concerned citizens as they work from the grassroots level to make a change.
Rally for Fair Funding: Tuesday, June 23
On Tuesday, June 23 the Campaign for Fair Education Funding along with hundreds of parents, students, teachers, and community leaders from across the state will rally for fair education funding at the state Capitol in Harrisburg.
The message is simple: Harrisburg’s top priority this year must be enacting a new system that provides sufficient funding for public schools so every child has an opportunity to learn. In addition, state funding MUST be driven out to districts using a formula that is based on the real costs of delivering services to students.
WHO: The Campaign for Fair Education Funding
WHAT: Rally for Fair Funding
WHERE: The state Capitol, Harrisburg
WHEN: Tuesday, June 23 (12 p.m. press conference)
WHY: We cannot afford to let our students fall behind
Share Your Story.
The Campaign for Fair Education Funding wants to hear from students in schools across Pennsylvania about the way school funding impacts their educational experience. Through Hear Me, a youth voice platform, your children can let legislators know what resources they need to succeed. Listen to the #FairFundingPA podcast here and register for a Hear Me account to upload audio here.
Join the Campaign as an Organizational Member
Please contact us for more information about your organization becoming a member.
The end goal is the same:
Our children are our future. Let’s give the helping hand. Remember: