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Philadelphia Business Leaders Join Fight For School Funding

(Citizens Bank CEO Dan FitzPatrick, in file photo.)

(Citizens Bank CEO Dan FitzPatrick, in file photo.)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia business leaders have joined a campaign to restore the state’s school funding formula. The effort was launched at a forum in City Hall last night.

Citizens Bank CEO Dan FitzPatrick acknowledged that business leaders may not commonly be seen as public school advocates, but he says they should be.

“If you’re in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and you want this economy to grow, it all stops and starts with education,” he said.

Pennsylvania is one of only three states in the country with no funding formula. The state legislature eliminated it in 2012.

Without a funding formula, Philadelphia schools have lost an estimated $360 million in funding this year, but FitzPatrick says CEOs all over the commonwealth support a funding formula.

“It doesn’t matter if these CEOs are operating in suburban counties, they get it,” said FitzPatrick.

“Education and workforce development are their primary business issues, and it starts with speaking out to say let’s get some fairness, some equity in the way the commonwealth funds education.”

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