Senator Tim Kearney

Springfield, PA – February 8, 2023 – On February 7, 2023, the Commonwealth Court issued a ruling in William Penn School District, et al. v. Pennsylvania Department of Education, et al., that Pennsylvania’s system of funding public education is unconstitutional.

Senator Tim Kearney’s statement on the ruling is below:

Yesterday’s ruling underscores what many of us have known for years—our legislature has fallen woefully short of its obligation to fund public education.

As a member of the education committee and a prime sponsor of the Level Up Funding for the last two years, I have long held the belief that greater state investments in education are not only fair, but it’s also the right thing to do. Education is the foundation of success.  A child shouldn’t be denied an equitable education simply because of the zip code they live in.  The Pennsylvania legislature’s broken customs for funding schools are unfair and systematically puts black and brown communities at a disadvantage.

My democratic colleagues in the House and Senate have joined education advocates, parents, and students alike at countless rallies to offer our support in their fight for more equitable educational opportunities. I’m proud that a school district that I represent, the William Penn School District, was a lead plaintiff in this lawsuit. They like too many other schools, have experienced the negative ramifications of an underfunded school district.  The children suffer, the teachers suffer, and the community suffers.  

The Commonwealth Court’s ruling confirms that our fight was not in vain.   Now, this legislature must follow through with the ruling to craft a new system of funding public schools equitably and make up for years of inadequate funding.  Investments in our children’s education are an investment in the future and vitality of our Commonwealth.