K-12 Education

K-12 Education

One of the most important factors influencing the future success of any child is the quality of his or her education. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is a state of “haves” and “have-nots.” Some school districts have the financial resources necessary to ensure all students can meet the state’s rigorous academic standards, while others are ill-equipped to ensure their students learn the skills necessary for success in higher education or a career. However, this is not regulated only to our basic education classrooms. Students with special needs and those pursuing career and technical education opportunities at the secondary level are often faced with the same issues including large class sizes, inadequate learning conditions and a lack of instructional materials.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children strives to ensure all students, regardless of the zip code they live in, are afforded a high-quality public education. Equitable and adequate funding as well as the need for consistent and transparent accountability standards are the foundation to making this goal a reality.

K-12 Education Policy Goals

  • Ensure all children receive a high-quality public education that is supported by a rational school funding system and sustained multi-year commitments that provide schools with the resources needed to maximize student achievement.
  • Continue to develop a comprehensive and transparent accountability framework that effectively evaluates the performance of schools and their personnel, while also providing parents with insight on the quality of education their child is being provided.
  • Ensure the state’s academic standards continually provide a quality benchmark for defining student proficiency across all grade levels, and support an assessment system that measures student growth, identifies adequacy gaps and recognizes curriculum and instruction needs.

K-12 Education Publications

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PA Schools Work Campaign

Pennsylvania schools work – for students, communities and the economy – when they have the resources to give all students an equal opportunity to attend a local public school that has adequate resources to ensure that he or she can learn and meet state academic standards.

PPC is partner of the non-partisan grassroots PA Schools Work campaign that is calling on the state to pay its fair share and adequately and equitably fund public education.

Follow PA Schools Work on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about the campaign and how the state can invest in students to secure our future.

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Fast Facts about K-12 Education in PA

  • Pennsylvania has the widest funding gap between wealthy and poor school districts of any state in the country, with state and local per-pupil spending in the poorest districts 33% lower than in the wealthiest districts.
  • 42% of the K-12 student population attend school districts that are spending below the amount necessary to ensure students can meet the state’s academic standards.
  • 429 commonwealth school districts do not receive their fair state share of basic education funding.
  • The state share of special education funding has declined from 36.5% to 24.6% over the last ten years.
  • Only 61% and 43% of students in grades 3-8 are scoring proficient on the English Language Arts and Mathematics PSSAs, respectively.
  • Only 51% of high school students score proficient or advanced on each of the three Keystone Exams.