By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A coalition of education groups is calling on the state to increase funding for Pennsylvania’s schools.
It’s a call from a two-year-old coalition called the Campaign for Fair Education Funding.
They’re claiming a partial victory, because the state for the first time is distributing new money to schools under a basic education funding formula that weighs the number of students in a district and how needy they are.
Members of the coalition, which includes the Education Law Center and Public Citizens for Children and Youth, now are calling on the legislature to increase the level of new funding by $400 million statewide.
Philadelphia would get $75 million of that under the formula.
The groups say it’s one thing to have a plan that outlines how the money should be spent, but Michael Churchill of the Public Interest Law Center, says you have to put the money in.
“The problem is, it’s only as good as the money it applies to. And it only applies to the new money. There is a lot of locked in inequity. And until the state starts to put sufficient dollars in, it isn’t going to fix the problems that Pennsylvania has.”
The Public Interest Law Center released a report today that says basic needs of school districts, books, teachers, librarians, are being unmet.
The coalition heads to Harrisburg Monday to begin to rally legislators for more education spending in this budget cycle.