Friday, January 30, 2015

An Issue of Fairness

Lawrence Feinberg
The topic of discussion Thursday night was fairness and why its so hard to come by in Pennsylvania when it comes to funding public schools.

Two speakers -- Tina Viletto, director of legislative services for the Montgomery County Internmediate Unit and circuit rider Lawrence Feinberg -- outlined the issues for a joint meeting of borough council and the school board at Rupert Elementary School.

Three efforts are underway to address the fact that Pennsylvania is one of the few states that does not distribute public education funding in any kind of formalized way that recognizes differences in district wealth, population and other important demographics.

One is the task force commissioned last year by former Gov. Tom Corbett and headed by Montgomery County legislator Mike Vereb; one is a lawsuit seeking to compel the state to comply with its Constitutional obligation to provide for an efficient school system and the third is the effort with which Viletto and Feinberg are involved, a coalition trying to advocate for, and influence the final form of, a fair funding formula.

They were speaking to a largely receptive audience and the meeting ended with some sharp and impassioned comments by Superintendent Jeff Sparagana; School Board President Judyth Zahora and School Board Treasurer Mary-Beth Bacallao.

You can read them below.

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