Philadelphia’s School District is so financially strained it can not afford to open more schools. Existing Charter Schools in Philadelphia that provide a quality education are not the issue, it’s further expansion of new schools that the district can not afford. Building the four approved charters that ACTION United rallied against in February of 2015 will cost the district an estimated $40.6 million dollars over a four year period.
Instead of handing out expensive contracts to private, for-profit schools, Philadelphia should be concentrating on strengthening our current public schools, and reforming policies in a way that would better the facilities, faculty, teachers, equipment, and resources that our public schools currently have.
Equal Opportunity to Education
The funding formula in PA is not equal. Because school funding comes from local tax, neighborhoods and communities that are lower income suffer from a severe lack of funding. This also affects a disproportionate amount of brown and black families. The state funding that comes through for these schools is not enough.
Worse is that many schools in low to moderate income communities need additional services that cater to the needs of the children who live there. As a result of this, many communities are left behind and severely underfunded, lacking basic necessities like a school nurse five days a week or gym class. It also means that some school districts in Philadelphia have as much as $6,000 dollars less per student than their wealthy counterparts.
A fair funding formula will also prevent the School to Prison Pipeline. Because of a lack of funding and poor services and facilities, a large number of youth are pushed out of school and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. These policies and practices also fuel systemic inequalities and disparate educational outcomes based on race, gender, perceived sexual orientation, disability status, and other categories.
For more information go to the Education Law Center’s website Here.