Addressing the K12 Public School Funding Crisis in Pennsylvania

Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 4:30pm to Friday, March 29, 2019 - 6:55pm

School districts that serve large populations of students of color and low-income families receive far less funding than those serving White and more affluent students. Despite widespread attention to inequitable school funding formulas—and courts that have declared them unlawful for shortchanging school districts serving large percentages of low-income students—too many states, Pennsylvania being one of them, continue this unfair practice.  A renewed effort that combines executive, legislative and judicial action to create systemic, equitable school funding changes in Pennsylvania is starting to gain real momentum.  This event will focus on the discussions and actions key change leaders are making to address funding inequities across the Commonwealth.

This event is sponsored by the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program of the School of Education.



Marc Brasof

Dr. Marc Brasof
Assistant Professor of Education, Arcadia University

Guest Panelists

Michael Churchill

Michael Churchill
Of Counsel, Public Interest Law Center

Churchill is one of the lead attorneys in William Penn School District, et al. v. Pennsylvania Department of Education, et. al. (2016). The case was filed on behalf of six school districts, seven parents, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools (PARSS) and the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference against legislative leaders, state education officials, and the governor. The petitioners are seeking a court order that will force the legislature to address funding inequities in public education.

Shirlee Howe

Shirlee Howe
Education Coordinator for Montgomery and Delaware Counties, Public Citizens for Children and Youth.

Howe has been an activist for quite some time, engaging stakeholders in suburban counties on the conversation of equitably funding area schools and encouraging the expansion of high quality pre-k.

Tomea Sippio-Smith

Tomea Sippio-Smith
K12 Policy Director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth

Sippio-Smith recently joined PCCY as K-12 Policy Director. Born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Miami, Florida, she has dedicated her career to service.  Sippio-Smith is combining her work in research and advocacy to advance the goal of equitable school funding in Pennsylvania. 

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