PENNSYLVANIA — The Level Up Coalition praises the addition of $100 million in funding to the 2023-24 PA budget as a crucial step towards addressing the equity issues in Pennsylvania’s school funding structure. They highlight the importance of this investment for the state’s poorest school districts and emphasize the need for continued efforts to bridge the funding gap. The coalition calls for a quick budget implementation to make the Level Up funds accessible to schools before the start of the upcoming academic year.
“By including an additional $100 million in Level Up funding in the final budget, the Pennsylvania legislature activated a critical equity vehicle in the current Pennsylvania school funding structure that advances our goal of ensuring all students receive a quality education, no matter where they live.
“This increased investment recognizes the struggles of the Commonwealth’s poorest school districts and takes a relatively small step in the right direction toward the state constitutional obligation to adequately and equitably fund PA public schools.
“In the absence of a constitutionally compliant system, Level Up is necessary for our poorest school districts to even try to keep up. In a year where the Commonwealth has more than $13 billion in reserves, this $100 million investment is a drop in the ocean but necessary to move toward reducing the wide funding gap that defines our current system.
“The first two rounds of Level Up funding have been used by school districts to improve learning conditions, hire much-needed staff, and update resources; we’ve begun to see the positive results of this increased support for Pennsylvania’s children. This effort to target funding to the districts with the greatest need has won bipartisan backing. But there is much more work to be done to shrink the yawning gap between Pennsylvania’s poorest and wealthiest school districts.
“Now, we encourage a speedy resolution to the budget implementation to ensure the Level Up funds are available to schools long before the students walk through the doors this September.”
For more information, visit https://leveluppa.org/.