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PA’s minimum teacher salary ($18,500) hasn’t increased since 1988. PA's minimum wage ($7.25), hasn’t been raised since 2009, and is lower than all neighboring states.
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HARRISBURG (Sept. 28, 2017) – Dolores McCracken, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, today released the following statement related to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in a case alleging the state is failing in its constitutional obligations to provide a “thorough and efficient system of education,” and is not closing the gap in funding differences between wealthier and poorer school districts.
The decision in the case brought by several school districts, parents, and school funding advocacy groups against the state Department of Education reverses a Commonwealth Court ruling that threw out the challenge to how schools are funded, and returns the case to the lower court.
“Today’s decision means that the courts must decide whether Pennsylvania is adequately funding our public schools. In the past few years, we’ve made a lot of progress on this, but it’s clear that we have more work to do.
“We have a new funding formula on the books, and Gov. Tom Wolf and the General Assembly have worked together to nearly reverse the $1 billion in school funding that was cut in 2011. But lawmakers need to make funding our public schools a top priority.
“With today’s decision, the courts may end up getting involved in resolving this issue, but elected officials shouldn’t wait. We know that we need to invest more in our public schools. The fact is that Pennsylvania is currently 46th in the nation in state funding of public schools and dead last in equity.
“Working together, lawmakers, educators, taxpayers, and concerned citizens can make school funding a priority, give schools the resources they need, and give students the education they deserve.”
McCracken is an education paraprofessional in the Council Rock School District. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents approximately 181,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.