Senator Haywood supports an increased state commitment to public education funding, in addition to a fair education funding formula. The senator also supports greater community commitment to quality summer and after-school reading programs to address illiteracy.
Pennsylvania currently ranks 45th in the nation for state share of school funding according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Our commonwealth needs to make a greater commitment to our youth by raising state support to 50% the cost of K-12 education, as well as restoring funding that was cut during the previous administration.
Additionally, Pennsylvania is one of just three states in our nation without an education funding formula. That has to change. Without a funding formula, we have the widest gap in the entire nation between the funding of poor and wealthy school districts. Senator Haywood supports the fair distribution of funding through a formula like that recommended by the Basic Education Funding Commission, which would give high poverty districts four times the funding of affluent districts. The formula would also take into consideration charter schools, English language learners and local tax effort in the distribution of funding.
The senator believes that properly funding our schools is essential for the future of Pennsylvania’s youth, but that funding alone is not enough. A reading revolution is necessary to address the challenge of illiteracy, which impacts the majority of elementary school children in Philadelphia. A strong community commitment to reading through summer and after-school literacy programs will ensure that students are prepared to lead independent, productive lives. Additionally, the senator supports mentoring programs such as the Boy Scouts, which provide youth with positive examples and experiences, creating a pathway to success.
Senator Haywood supports increasing resources for higher education by restoring funding that was cut to higher education during the previous administration and better funding PHEAA loans. The senator is also an advocate for free community college, ensuring all Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to pursue independence through higher education.