Rabb says, ‘it’s about time,’ celebrates Commonwealth Court ruling on state education funding
Rep. Christopher M. Rabb February 9, 2023 | 9:22 AM
HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., issued a statement in response to the Feb. 7 decision by Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on William Penn School District v. Pennsylvania Department of Education, which ruled Pennsylvania’s public school funding system is unconstitutional.
“It’s about time! I have been a long-time champion for full and fair funding for public schools,” Rabb said. “However, Tuesday’s decision is only the first step in the long journey toward generously and equitably investing in our students and in our schools.”
During his first two terms in office, Rabb introduced popular, bipartisan legislation to direct 100% of state education funds through the fair funding formula. He also convened a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on the subject in 2019 at Emlen Elementary School in his district to raise awareness around what he has characterized as “educational apartheid.”
Commonwealth Court Judge Renee Cohn Jubilerer ruled that Pennsylvania public schools don’t have the resources to adequately educate all students, and the gaps between wealthy and poor school districts has rendered the system unconstitutional.
The petitioners argued that the state’s system for funding public education, which relies mainly on local property taxes, causes inequities in funding, with school districts in low-financial wealth areas being too often underfunded.