As my children prepare for the final days of school, I am reminded that quality education in many areas of Pennsylvania is a privilege, not a right. Education is a fundamental need for a successful society as a whole, yet the disparities in education across the Commonwealth continue to grow. How does this make you feel?
I always feel a sense of loss when the news is reporting plans to cut funding in school districts that need money the most. I realize that there are always tradeoffs when balancing a budget, but should our children’s education be one of those items on the cutting floor? It is often seen as a liability and not an asset for our future.
This year our children received iPads from their schools. The iPads were used in each class and enabled to students to complete all of their work virtually. From math homework to book reports, the assignments were seamlessly completed on their iPads. The access to technology and reference information simultaneously increased their desire to learn more about each subject. But unfortunately, there are thousands of students that do not have up-to-date textbooks, supplies or educational support to perform simple tasks.
Pennsylvania is one of only three states without a Basic Education Funding formula so things such as shelves lined with books, art supplies, computer carts, and music programs are not readily available unless you live in one of the wealthier districts.
The Campaign For Fair Education seeks to change that. Members want to ensure that Pennsylvania schools have the resources necessary to enable every child to meet academic standards. This statewide campaign is not affiliated with any political party, instead it is a non-partisan effort made up of organizations that represent PA from every corner of our great state. With more than 50 education advocacy organizations including teachers & school administrators, along with representatives of charter schools and traditional public schools, people with urban and rural interests, faith-based and community groups, the list of members on this campaign is wide and be found here.
The children of Pennsylvania need you and it’s time to get involved. The Campaign for Fair Funding’s website provides various ways that you can help. The list below details a view.
- Sign up to receive campaign updates and information
- Contact your State Legislators and tell them to give students in every school a fair shot at academic success
- Speak out on social media. Follow the Campaign for Fair Funding Facebook and Twitter pages.
- Join me on Monday, June 15th from 1-2PM for a Twitter chat and have your “voice” heard because we can’t let our students fall behind.
- Attend the Fair Funding Rally on June 23rd in Harrisburg at the State Capital. There is free transportation from Pittsburgh, click here to reserve your seat.
- Allow your child to share their story using Hear Me. Hear Me, part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Create Lab, Hear Me amplifies kids’ voices using media and technology to create a world where kids are heard, acknowledged and understood, giving them the power to inspire social change. Recently, Hear Me interviewed students across Pennsylvania and produced a podcast about their thoughts on the current state of public school education funding.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”~ Nelson Mandela
Disclosure: I’m teaming up with the Campaign for Fair Education Funding to speak out for students across Pennsylvania. Although I am receiving some form of compensation, all opinions remain my own. #FairFundingPA