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House bill regarding education gets support in Harrisburg

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HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A thousand people packed the State Capitol Wednesday, rallying for fair education funding. They say public schools are currently funded in a racially biased way in Pennsylvania.

Those at the Capitol Wednesday were pushing lawmakers to pass House Bill 961, a bill they say would provide a better education for all Pennsylvania students.

A thousand people filled the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday, singing and chanting in favor of House Bill 961, requiring 100 percent of state funds for public schools to be distributed through the fair funding formula.

“Now we’ve got to get all the money going through the formula,” Senator Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia and Montgomery counties said.

The formula requires educational funding to be distributed to districts based on enrollment as well as other factors, diversity and median household income. But, there’s a catch, only new funding can be distributed through the formula.

“There is only one solution for this problem. Justice!” bill sponsor Representative Chris Rabb said.

Justice they say doesn’t exist because districts that lost significant student population, largely white, did not lose funding, while others saw enrollment and needs grow, but funding not keeping up.

“I know that the color of my skin, or the neighborhood I live in should not affect my education, but it does,” third-grade student Miracle Farley said.

Now, third-grader Miracle Farley is one of those calling on all school funding to go through the fair funding formula.

“I’m not asking for much. I’m just asking for better education for me and for all,” Farley said.

And House Bill 961 is in the education committee.


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