The educational system in PA is incredibly complex but there are commonsense solutions that could be implemented in the near term. Property taxes in a school district represent 68% of the total funding, this creates a system where your zip code reflects the budget of a school district. We cannot expect to alleviate poverty when we devalue education in low income areas.
There is bipartisan support to reform the use of property taxes as the major source of funds for public school districts. I will support this.
Equitable funding for schools is not the only answer to solving poverty, it is a first step. We need to address many underlying problems such as wealth inequality, mass incarceration and family dynamics.
We need to stop the proliferation of fly by night charters and make tough choices about redundant school districts and their assets.
What I can do as a senator:
Support the passing of a bill to alleviate a property tax majority funding source for school districts.
I also will support reducing the budget of the criminal justice system in our state and rerouting that money to education.
Work with teachers and principals to institute solutions addressing how to make education better and equip our students for the 21st century.
Support an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour; poverty directly correlates to educational attainment.
Legalize marijuana and use the tax revenue generated to fund low income schools.