Pa. small and rural schools speak out for Philly funding

Philadelphia schools are locked in a funding crisis. But what about the hundreds of other districts across the state?

Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools Executive Director Joe Bard said that across the state other schools are feeling the same fiscal pain as Philly. “We have many districts that are struggling for existence because of inadequate state funding and the inability, because of Act 1, to raise their local taxes above a set amount without going to referendum,” Bard said.

While Philadelphia officials call for more education funding from the state, Bard said leaders in less-urban areas are facing similar challenges for their communities. “Both Philadelphia and our rural schools have lots and lots of poor kids. And those kids are the ones that have been primarily affected by the state’s failure to properly fund education,” he said.

In Philadelphia the situation has already reached a fever pitch. The school district is asking the teachers union for concessions, including pay cuts, to help alleviate budget problems. The two have not reached agreement on a new contract but Philly schools are still slated to open next week. 

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