Thursday, June 4, 2015

Raising awareness for Fair Education Funding

My husband and I recently enjoyed watching an episode of Undercover Boss that featured Mayor Wiliam Peduto. One thing that stuck out was to see quite a few people in the episode who were working extra hours in order to avoid putting their kids in public schools. There are many reasons people might choose to enroll their childen in private schools and that's more than okay if that's your preference! But what is not okay is if people feel they have to make this choice because public schools can't offer a high quality education because they simply don't have the funding. Has the music or art program been cut because the resources aren't there to provide these classes? Are computers or iPads not available for the kids to use for learning? This is something we want to make sure does not happen! My family lives in the city and we want our schools to be a place for all children to learn and thrive. We are excited for our son to begin his studies at a Pittsburgh Public School this fall. And that's a big reason that I want to share about the Campaign for Fair Education Funding. This highlights the need for Pennsylvania to adopt and maintain an adequate and equitable system of funding public education by 2016. Pennsylvania is one of only three states without a Basic Education Funding formula. The current system fails to provide enough resources to educate all students to academic standards, and produces racial disparities and a wide gap between the wealthiest and poorest schools. You can read the top ten reasons why Pennsylvania needs a better education funding system here. Whether you live in the city or your kids go to a suburban or rural public school, Pennsylvania needs a better public school funding system throughout the state!

So what do we do to ensure our schools are getting the funding they need to provide the best possible education for our children? Some of the first steps you can take is to go to the Campaign for Fair Funding website and sign up for the campaign’s e-newsletter. Then contact your legislators to urge them to prioritize the issue. Another way to be involved is let your child's voice be heard! My son and I enjoyed recording his thoughts through Hear Me. Hear Me is part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Create Lab. Hear Me amplifies kids' voices using media and technology to create a world where kids are heard, acknowledged and understood, giving them the power to inspire social change. 
Click on Graham's Words to hear my six year old's view on his school!  

You can go to the Hear Me website and record your own child's voice to be heard. 
All preK-12 students are encouraged to participate and share their voices.
The Campaign for Fair Education Funding is a statewide non-partisan effort made up of organizations that, collectively, represent Pennsylvanians from every corner of the state. Our campaign includes more than 50 education advocacy organizations; teachers and school administrators; representatives of charter schools and traditional public schools; urban and rural interests; business and organized labor; faith-based groups; and community groups. Go here for a complete list of members. 

Parents can have the strongest and loudest voices in our children's education. So let's be heard when we let our wishes be known for strong education in Pennsylvania and Fair Funding across our state!

I’m teaming up with the Campaign for Fair Education Funding to speak out for students across Pennsylvania. Although I am receiving some form of compensation, all opinions remain my own. #FairFundingPA 

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