“The funding for equality and justice must be one for fair and full funding for educating all of our young people across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and certainly here in Philadelphia,” Nutter said before a ceremonial ringing of the Liberty Bell at noon in honor of King. “And I believe that you cannot be free without an education. Not just an adequate deduction, but a superior education, to be a first-class citizen in this country.”

Later, at the annual King Day luncheon, the mayor continued to speak out on school funding.

While the passion Nutter displayed was refreshing his commitment on public school funding is known. He has long been on the record for calling for a new statewide student-weighted formula that equitably brings full and fair funding to public school children regardless of whether they go to district-managed or charter schools.

However, Corbett’s remarks on Wednesday that the state’s school funding system should be changed were unexpected. The governor said he is interested in a bill that would set up a commission to develop a formula to distribute funds for K-12 education. The bill is pending in the Senate.

“Let’s get a true, fair funding system of all schools of Pennsylvania, not for one district or another,” Corbett said. “It’s not fair right now, OK? So we need to address that.”

Responding to a request for comment, Pennsylvania Department of Education spokesman Tim Eller stated in an email message, “Gov. Corbett cares about all students across Pennsylvania and believes that every Pennsylvania student, regardless of zip code, background or family income, deserves access to a high-quality public education.”

It is no secret that the governor’s handling of education has emerged as a major issue in his campaign to seek reelection.

Now that the governor acknowledges that Pennsylvania’s public school funding is unfair, we would like to see him use his leadership to aggressively push for a change in education funding.

(Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune)

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