23 March, 2016
“This long drawn out budget crisis could an example of why we need to empower parents to be engaged with system advocacy. Erie SD almost closed down and they are in deep financial difficulty which they couldn’t afford to begin.” – Jill Hrinda-Patten, Executive Director, Mission Empower
Today Governor Wolf decided to allow a Republican-backed budget for 2015-2016 become law. This means the doors of our schools will stay open and the lights will stay on.
But as the Campaign for Fair Education Funding noted, today’s action does nothing to ensure that our children have sufficient resources so that all students – no matter where they live – can succeed in school and meet the state’s academic standards. The Commonwealth’s continued failure to provide children with the resources necessary for a quality education shows why Pennsylvania courts must step in. The important legal issue is whether the Legislature is violating Pennsylvania’s constitutional mandate that it support an effective system of public education.
Whether the courts can even weigh in is the issue presently before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in William Penn School District v. Pennsylvania Department of Education, the lawsuit we filed in November of 2014 in partnership with the Education Law Center. We will continue to keep you posted as this lawsuit moves forward.
Jennifer R. Clarke