HARRISBURG, PA. (Erie News Now) – This week, testimony in the Pennsylvania public education funding lawsuit highlighted serious issues facing schools around the Commonwealth.
Witnesses painted a grim picture of what a normal school day looks like for many students throughout Pennsylvania, and how the COVID-19 Pandemic made things worse.
Especially issues dealing with infrastructure like classroom space and capacity, ventilation systems, and more.
“We also heard a lot about facility issues in underfunded schools. Storage closets and locker rooms are being used as classrooms,” Deborah Gordon Klehr the Executive Director of the Education Law Center.
The Education Law Center and the Public Interest Law Center are the two law centers that filed the suit on behalf of the petitioners on Nov. 12.
“We heard about a section of a school where 125 young children have to share one toilet,” she added.
Polito says a lack of equitable funding puts students at a disadvantage.
“We need to level the playing field for all our students and make sure that they all have an opportunity to succeed,” said Polito. “Your education shouldn’t be based on your zip code. You should be able to offer the same type of programing to all students in Pennsylvania.”
Polito is hoping for a positive outcome in the fair funding trial and says it’s needed for Pennsylvania’s future.
“Long term, we really need that adjustment from the state in order to be competitive with other school districts around the area,” he said. “This really should be a number one priority, we can’t let generations of kids fall behind.”