Urban schools in Pennsylvania said they need more money for teachers and resources during news conferences that were held across the commonwealth Tuesday, with one of them at the Greater Johnstown High School.
The superintendent from Altoona joined Greater Johnstown’s superintendent, Dr. Amy Arcurio, to call for the need for more funding for larger schools.
Former Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, Gerald Zahorchack, says almost half of the students at Greater Johnstown are in extreme poverty. He says there are inequities between school revenues and property taxes, in urban schools.
Johnstown district teachers and administrators say these conditions have made the role of a teacher more than just teaching in a classroom. They say this is why they’re asking for change.
“We implore the legislature to cross party lines, work on behalf of the commonwealth’s children, so that their hopes and their dreams can become a reality.”
“We are a part of the bottom 100 lowest income school districts in the state. But we are the economic drivers of the workforce, and the future workforce for our local communities.”
“4 billion dollars of new funds are needed. That’s what we need to make a productive Pennsylvania, and to guarantee the development, in the right direction of every single child, across the commonwealth.”
Dr. Arcurio presented a piece of legislation, signed back in February, to Dr. Zahorchak.
Multiple school districts, including Johnstown, won what is seen as a historic victory, when the PA courts decided that students attending low wealth districts are being deprived of equal protection under the law. It said the way the state pays for schools is unconstitutional.