Central PA Delegation to champion fair funding for schools at Millersville rally

The rally, in coordination with PA Schools Work, is part of the delegation’s ongoing agenda to ensure equity in education for all students in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, June 12 – The Pennsylvania House Central Pennsylvania Delegation today announced that the group will raise its voice on behalf of chronically underfunded schools along with advocate groups, educational organizations, legislators, community leaders, students, lawyers, and parents tomorrow, Thursday, June 13. MEDIA COVERAGE IS INVITED.

State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, who serves the 49th Legislative District where the event will take place, indicated that the rally which will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday at Millersville University’s Pucillo Gymnasium, 125 Pucillo Dr., Millersville, is aimed at reinforcing the need to secure sustainable funding for public schools.

“This rally will be a loud and clear call to action for colleagues on both side of the aisle and the Senate,” he said about the rally organized in coordination with PA Schools Work, a nonpartisan statewide movement that advocates on behalf of public schools.

“We are determined to secure the $1.1 billion increase in Basic Education funding, as projected by Gov. Josh Shapiro in his 2024-25 budget proposal,” Smith-Wade-El added.

“Now, following the House passage of a unprecedent $5.1 billion bill that fulfills the recommendations of a bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission to end funding disparities, we need to make sure that this bill crosses the finish line.

“This legislation would ensure that our kids receive the quality of education that they deserve,” he said about the bill that is now on its way to the Senate for consideration.

Smith-Wade-El also indicated that the proposed plan on education would also help reduce the taxpayer burden for hardworking families.

“We are championing an efficient approach to fund public schools, but we are also bringing peace of mind to homeowners who have been overburdened for so long,” he pointed out. “The plan includes $1 billion in tax relief over seven years in districts where taxpayers have been hit the hardest,” he said.

Central PA Delegation Chairman Manuel Guzman encouraged the community to join the delegation in its crusade to level up the public education system and help every child in the state to get a fair shot at getting quality education.

“It’s time to close the financial gaps in public schools. It’s time to guarantee transparency and accountability for the state’s cyber charter schools. This plan does all that; it is a formula to create a brighter future for our kids,” Guzman said.

“This is a turning point for education,” he stated. “I am proud to say that our delegation is actively working to bring millions of dollars back to our communities, but we cannot do it alone; we need collective action from the House and the Senate.”

David Smith, Lancaster County field organizer of PA Schools Work, shared Smith-Wade-El and Guzman’s sentiments and stressed that a child’s education must be provided with full conviction that the right thing is being done because children must be a priority.

"The next right thing to do is provide adequate and equitable funding for our public schools,” Smith said. “It needs to happen without animosity or division and in a spirit of pride and confidence that is carried forward by our state leaders and honors every child. It is the right priority and a step that can make a difference for children, taxpayers, and employers across Pennsylvania,” he said.

House Bill 2370 was introduced by Rep. Michael Sturla, D-Lancaster, who served as co-chair of the Basic Education Funding Commission and prime sponsor of the legislation. Sturla is also a member of the Central PA Delegation.

The list of confirmed speakers for the rally:

  • Dr. Terrance Hendersen, school board director, Manheim Township School District.
  • Dr. Martin Hudacs, former superintendent, Solanco School District.
  • Rep. Justin Fleming.
  • Rep. Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz.
  • Dan Urevick Acklesburg, lawyer from Public Interest Law Center.
  • Amy Wall, teacher, Penn Manor School District.
  • Michele Tappany, Penn Manor School District Resident.
  • Kelsie Hilken, graduate of Penn Manor School District.
  • Brenda Morales, POWER Interfaith and Penn Manor School District resident.

The rally can be viewed at this link or live on Rep. Guzman's Facebook site.