Education Law Center statement on the completion of the 2016-2017 Pennsylvania budget
July 13, 2016
Deborah Gordon Klehr, Executive Director of the Education Law Center, issued the following statement on the completion of the 2016-2017 Pennsylvania budget:
“While we are encouraged that this year’s recently approved state budget with accompanying revenue will include an additional $200 million in funding for basic education, $20 million in special education, and $30 million in early education, this increase still falls far short of what our children need and what Governor Wolf originally requested. It will allow school districts to plug some budget holes in the short term but will prevent schools from making important investments to improve student performance in the long term. It also locks in long-term structural inequities that will continue to leave many of Pennsylvania’s schoolchildren behind.
“Even with the passage of the 2016-2017 budget, proper funding for public education remains wholly inadequate and inequitable in Pennsylvania. Tens of thousands of schoolchildren can no longer wait for the long-term, sustained investments in education they need to succeed. That is why we are vigorously pursuing Pennsylvania’s fair funding lawsuit before the state Supreme Court to implement a long-term solution to ensure that the Commonwealth meets its constitutional requirement to provide a ‘thorough and efficient’ public school system that serves all children regardless of their ZIP code. We look forward to presenting our case to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on September 13, 2016.”
The Education Law Center-PA (“ELC”) is a non-profit, legal advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all children in Pennsylvania have access to a quality public education. Through legal representation, impact litigation, trainings, and policy advocacy, ELC advances the rights of vulnerable children, including children living in poverty, children of color, children in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, children with disabilities, English language learners, and children experiencing homelessness.
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