HARRISBURG — Nearly 100 students, teachers and community members representing the Erie School District rallied in Harrisburg for fair funding on Tuesday.
Two busloads of supporters from Erie made the five-hour trip to Harrisburg for the Rally in the Rotunda to ask state lawmakers not to forget about Erie.
“There is no greater responsibility of the Pennsylvania General Assembly than to invest in the future of this Commonwealth and that future begins and ends in public education,” said Sen. Wiley in a press release. “Our message is simple: our kids matter.”
The Erie School District is facing a $4.3 million deficit and passed an unbalanced 2016-17 budget.
There was bipartisan support from Erie lawmakers at the podium and a room full of Erie leaders who made the trip.
“We can no longer continue cutting critical programs and services from the 12,000 students in our district who need more, not less. We implore our elected officials to work together on solutions that will help solve our financial crisis and allow us to provide a fair and equitable education to our students,” Superintendent Jay Badams said.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said they took notice of the rally, but also said Erie is preaching to the choir.
The office said Wolf is not only working to fund education with $350 million additional dollars in the 2016-17 budget, but also working to address financially distressed districts like Erie.
Last week, Wolf signed a bill that established a fair funding education formula.
Administrators called it another step in the right direction for fair funding for Erie Public Schools.