Philadelphia is not the only city in Pennsylvania whose educational institutions are battling a funding crisis. Sharon Ward, executive director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and a longtime observer of state education policy, breaks down the issue.
“The situation that’s happening in Philadelphia … is being experienced in school districts across the state,” said Ward. “There are eight school districts that are currently designated as ‘financially distressed’ and many more that are on that path.”
She gives three reasons why people should care. First, she says, “schools are constantly in crisis with respect to just basic operations and being able to have enough teachers and counselors and librarians.”
“Without sufficient resources delivered in a predictable way, we will be in crisis,” she said. “That means that children who are currently being educated in these schools have fewer resources than kids that came before them. And that means they’ll have fewer chances as they move into college, the workforce and beyond.”
Second, she says, school are moving away from their primary mission of educating kids.
“A third reason is that, as the state has reduced funding, which is I think one of the primary things that has precipitated this crisis, local taxpayers have been asked to pay more,” she said.
Listen to the entire interview above.