Harkins, Policy Committee examine commonwealth’s commitment to education funding

ERIE, March 23 – Requested by state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, the House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing today on Gov. Tom Wolf’s education funding proposal to collect input from local school superintendents and a fair education funding advocate. 

“House Democrats and I believe the key to a better future starts with a solid education that requires a stronger investment from the state,” Harkins said. “Hearing the testimonies of our local superintendents brings the need for, not only more funding, but also a fair funding formula into clear focus.”

Harkins co-chaired the hearing with state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, who serves as House Democratic Policy Committee chairman.

Sturla added, “Representative Harkins has been a strong advocate for education investment and he recognizes that Schools that Teach is a critical part of Governor Wolf’s plan for moving Pennsylvania in an upward and positive direction. I thank him for hosting this important hearing today.”

The hearing was held at Erie's nationally recognized Barber National Institute, which Harkins said is a leader in providing educational support for children and adults dealing with developmental or mental disabilities, as well as those on the autism spectrum and others dealing with hearing disabilities.

Those testifying included: Jay Badams, superintendent, Erie School District; Shane Murray, superintendent, Iroquois School District; Rich Scarletta, superintendent, General McLane School District; and Dr. Pam Lenz, circuit rider for the Pennsylvania Campaign for Fair Education Funding.