PA House Democrats wrap up ‘Save Our Schools’ tour with stop in Allegheny Co.
Members take tour and talk fair funding at Carrick High School in Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH, Aug. 3—The House Majority leadership team and Policy Committee wrapped up the statewide “Save Our Schools” tour Thursday morning with a stop at Carrick High School in Pittsburgh to tour the building, discuss the need for fair funding for public education and rally with education advocates.
“We’re excited and we have our sleeves rolled up. We understand that as this budget wraps up and is finalized, there is nothing more important than fairly funding every single one of our public schools,” said House Speaker Joanna McClinton (D-Phila., Delaware). “We look forward to being back in Harrisburg to finalize the budget and make it clear that the one priority that House Democrats have in our majority is our children.”
The Save Our Schools tour featured conversations in each corner of the state regarding the necessity to fairly fund public education across the commonwealth. While the pending budget includes an increase in funding for public education, it’s not as much as the House Majority had initially passed. This comes after a Commonwealth Court judge ruled in February the state fell short of its constitutional obligation to students in the most underserved school districts, violating students’ rights to a “comprehensive, effective, and contemporary” education.
“As a former educator, I want every child in our community to have the chance to succeed and receive a quality education, because there is nothing more foundational to a young person’s future success than the education they receive,” said Rep. Dan Miller (D-Allegheny), who serves as the House Majority Whip. “Public education is the only place in the commonwealth that educates every child all together, regardless of need, ability, social class, race, or religion. We’re fighting on behalf of all students who struggle and push for their future. We’re here for them.”
House Democrats kicked off the SOS tour in Philadelphia on Monday with a tour of South Philadelphia High School and a conversation on the need to fix toxic, crumbling schools. The tour moved to Reading on Tuesday, where members toured Wyomissing Area High School and Reading High School, demonstrating the fact that a student’s ZIP code can impact their education. Wednesday’s tour stop brought members to the Bald Eagle Area School District in Centre County for a conversation with educators and administrators on the need to bolster rural education funding.
“Schools are the pillar that hold up our towns - our economy - and shortchanging our kids means shortchanging our future. That’s why we embarked on this journey across the state,” said Majority Policy Chairman Ryan Bizzarro. “We visited four counties in four days, having important conversations with the teachers and administrators who dedicate their time to our students, and we’ve heard the same thing at each stop—we must properly and equally fund education in Pennsylvania. It’s time to get to work.”
Information about this and other SOS tour stops can be found at pahouse.com/policy.