Senator Lindsey Williams

Pittsburgh, Pa. − June 12, 2024 − Senator Lindsey M. Williams, Minority Chair of the Senate Education Committee, is calling for the Senate to consider HB2370, landmark legislation that addresses the Commonwealth Court’s mandate to fully and constitutionally fund Pennsylvania’s public schools.

In 2023, the Court tasked the Governor and the General Assembly with remedying our constitution violation by making articulated and meaningful investments to support a “though and efficient system of public education”.

As Education Chair, HB2370 does not go far enough to address the Court’s decision, but it does gets us on the road to compliance and stands in stark contrast to Senate Republicans’ inaction since the Court’s order over a year ago. 

I join with students, parents, educators, and advocates who are using today, June 12th, as a day of action to call on the Senate to finish the job. 

Governor Shapiro has said he considers vouchers “unfinished business.” But our unfinished business is the minimum of $6 billion that we owe students and families for decades of unconstitutionally underfunding and inequitably funding our public schools.

Our unfinished business is that students across the Commonwealth can’t go to school when it’s too hot outside. Our unfinished business is our students do not have enough caring adults in the building. They need more teachers, paraprofessionals, school counselors, social workers, and many more adults.

As I said when the Senate Republicans moved their latest version of a voucher scheme through Senate Education Committee last month, “There is no trade for vouchers”.

We cannot trade away our constitutional obligation – especially not to corporate interests and unaccountable private and religious schools that discriminate against children.

I truly believe that every single one of our students can be successful—but that cannot happen without equitable and adequate financial support. It is long past time to address how we fund our Pennsylvania public schools. 

It is our constitutional obligation. It is also our moral obligation. I urge the Senate to finish the business of every public school student and family in this Commonwealth and finally make meaningful steps towards fully and equitably funding our public schools.