The Law Center and other education organizations responded to the decision of the School District of Philadelphia to open on time.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 15, 2014
Legislature Must Keep Its Promise to Support Philadelphia Schools
Our organizations support the decision of School District of Philadelphia officials to open on time. Philadelphia school children and their families will be spared the additional disruption and chaos that would occur if schools were to open late.
However, we are concerned that the planned reductions to already inadequate levels of support and service run the risk of jeopardizing student health and safety. That is why we urge the Governor and leaders in the House and Senate to make good on their commitments and finalize the cigarette tax legislation no later than September 30. Every day of delay puts the safety and well-being of our children at risk. The uncertainty must end.
“Legislators have a constitutional duty to provide a thorough and efficient system of public education throughout the Commonwealth, including in Philadelphia, and that has not happened. We call on them to fulfill that duty and provide the funding necessary for Philadelphia students to have the supports and services – and the educational opportunities that students in their neighboring districts have every day. The legislature’s job will not end with passage of the cigarette tax,” said Michael Churchill of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.
“The legislature’s delay in approving the cigarette tax authorization has been costly and we call on the General Assembly to authorize a supplemental appropriation to ensure that the $81 million that the district has requested is made available this year,” said Sharon Ward, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.
“The School District of Philadelphia is repeatedly in the position of choosing from a menu of bad options because of the state’s failure to provide adequate funding. Instead implementing necessary academic programs and student supports, District leaders are deciding how many more programs and services to cut. It is reprehensible that this is still happening,” said Susan Gobreski, Executive Director, Education Voters of Pennsylvania.
Education Law Center
Education Voters of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
Philadelphia Education Fund
Public Citizens for Children and Youth
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
Susan Gobreski, Education Voters of PA, 215-564-2299
Brett Schaeffer, Education Law Center, 215-238-6970 ext. 334