It is critically important that we fund our schools. It is equally important that the funding be equitable and fair. It may seem that we don’t—at the moment—don’t have a financial deficit. What we do have—and have had for years— is a resources deficit.
As we look forward to the return to local control, we have to use that opportunity to make sure that we use that governance to do the things the SRC would not. We have to work together to make sure that Harrisburg funds our public schools adequately and equitably. Pennsylvania’s contribution to local school funding is among the lowest in the country. Government officials in City Hall and on the new school board should work together, and with education advocates in the city, to keep the pressure on Harrisburg to increase its financial commitment to public education. Build alliances with other school districts and municipalities.
Not put the burden on poor and working people in the largest poor city in the country. No Councilperson who supports graduated income tax should support a regressive tax system which places the burden on working people and homeowners.
We need to roll back ten-year tax abatements which benefit the rich; postponing proposed business tax cuts (Trump tax cuts to business should be enough); PILOTS; making PPA pay its fare share.
APPS has had its Ears and Eyes on the SRC for over 5 years. Our schools are underfunded. But the new board must reverse the SCR’s screwed-up spending priorities and put money where it is needed: smaller class size, school libraries with certified school librarians, Non-teaching assistants and classroom aides. The SD cannot afford any more charters and does not need any more charters.