We agree that strong public schools are fundamental to our collective future as Pennsylvanians, and we must ensure access to high-quality public education. This is one of the most important duties of our state government. Standing up for our children, our teachers and for taxpayers while working to make sure that we invest in education will be one of my top priorities as your State Senator.
We all agree that our children are our future, and we know that education is the gateway to opportunity and the key to building a better life. At the same time, we know that when our schools are not being adequately funded at the state level, constantly increasing property taxes is not the best way to close the funding gap.
Despite their promises, our legislature has failed to take action to give our schools the resources they need and to give taxpayers the relief they deserve. As your State Senator, I will be an outspoken advocate for fairly funding our schools, and I will work with any of my colleagues, regardless of party, who are willing to stand with me and fight to strengthen public education in Pennsylvania.
I will support a fair funding formula that makes the right investments in our schools and provides needed financial support for teachers and students while providing relief to property taxpayers. Pennsylvania needs a fair funding formula that addresses the disparity in education funding across our economically diverse communities. Previous attempts to put such a funding formula in place were abandoned by the leadership in Harrisburg. Students, teachers, local schools, and taxpayers have been left holding the bag. I will work to get fair funding for public education back on track.
Early Childhood Education
Early childhood education programs are an increasingly vital part of the educational and economic picture in Pennsylvania and across the country. I support early childhood education, like universal Pre-Kindergarten, to get our children started on the right foot and our economy back on track. Research shows that universal Pre-K significantly increases educational outcomes for students and, according to the Education Law Center, for every one dollar invested in early childhood education, seven dollars are returned to the local economy.
More Options After Graduation
In our increasingly diverse economy, we need to provide students with the maximum number of educational options beyond high school. While a traditional four-year degree is the right decision for many, it is not always the best or the most affordable option for everyone. In addition, in a rapidly changing economy, adults often find themselves needing new skills, and we must create options to make sure that these individuals can acquire the training they need for the next chapter in their lives.
I support vocational programs and apprenticeship programs in the skilled trades and increasing our investment in our community colleges to ensure that our young people have the maximum number of options possible to pursue a rewarding career, and to make sure that education and training opportunities are available to every resident of the Commonwealth for lifelong learning.