Testifiers emphasize school repairs, upgrades to provide safe, quality education for students

Basic Education Funding Commission hears from education, health experts

ALLENTOWN, Sept. 12 – Testifiers detailed the critical importance of adequate funding for school districts to address building repairs, upgrades and maintenance to keep students and faculty safe during a Basic Education Funding Commission hearing today.

“Mother Nature helped prove the need is right now for school building funding with the oppressive heat wave last week,” said Schweyer, Majority Chairman of the PA House Education Committee (D-Lehigh). “Many school districts across PA closed or adjusted to virtual learning during the extreme heatbecause there was no air conditioning or means to protect students and staff from the excessive temperatures. Our children have waited long enough and should not have to continue to learn in substandard conditions.”

The hearing was hosted by Schweyer and state Sen. Nick Miller at the Allentown School District Administration Building and included testimony from the superintendents of the Allentown, Bethlehem and Salisbury school districts as well as other education advocates to discuss the impacts of classroom environments on students’ abilities to learn.

“I am glad the BEFC began the hearings right here in Allentown. As a former school board member, education has long been a passion of mine. My district includes 10 school districts, ranging from rural to suburban to urban, across the Lehigh Valley, all with unique needs we are addressing,” said Miller, D-Lehigh. “Listening to experts and stakeholders today and beginning the process of working with my colleagues to determine a better system to properly fund all public schools across the commonwealth was the first step to allowing every student to receive the best education they can to ensure a strong workforce of tomorrow and relieve the burden currently placed on property taxpayers.”

The 2023 Basic Education Funding Commission is charged with reviewing the distribution of state funding for basic education to Pennsylvania’s 500 school district and providing a report of its findings to the General Assembly.

The BEFC is a 15-member group consisting of three members from each legislative caucus and three members of the administration.

Information provided to TVL by:
Thomas LeClair
Research Analyst
House Democratic Education Committee