Public school funding in Pennsylvania has been on the skids for decades now, but today, it’s doing real harm all over the state. And this isn’t by accident. PA’s legislature has created a system where the kids who need the most, get the least, usually because of where they live.
So much so that across the Keystone State, 86% of public school students are attending schools that are underfunded. And lots of Pennsylvanians are saying enough is enough. Some of them have gone so far as to take the state to court for failure to properly fund our schools — a constitutional right — with a landmark trial slated to begin in Harrisburg this fall.
We’ve spent the last few months interviewing people all over the state to find out the history of underfunding in PA, what it’s doing to students, teachers and families all over the state, and where it all could go from here And we’re ready to show you what we’ve found.
This is Underfunded, and it’s coming soon wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe now, and visit FundOurSchoolsPA.org to find out more.
With your hosts: Meg St-Esprit, a mom and a journalist who writes about parenting and education for Pittsburgh’s PublicSource, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more. And Melanie Bavaria, education journalist who has been covering Philadelphia’s schools for the past several years for outlets like The Notebook, Chalkbeat, Next City, and others.
Underfunded is a project of the Public Interest Law Center, with grant support from the William Penn Foundation.
For more information on the fight to fund public schools in PA, visit FundOurSchoolsPA.org.
December 22nd, 2021 | 38 mins 39 secs
Now that the trial is underway, one big question remains: What happens now?
October 20th, 2021 | 37 mins 59 secs
On today's episode, we look at how PA's public schools have come to the impasse they're in now, at the hand of shifting political priorities over the past handful of governors and presidents.
June 18th, 2021 | 31 mins 58 secs
History buffs take note!
May 20th, 2021 | 23 mins 32 secs
On today’s episode, we continue our “road trip” across PA to look at underfunding’s effects in our more rural communities.
May 7th, 2021 | 21 mins 55 secs
This week, we begin a two-part road trip around PA, checking in across the state to hear stories from superintendents and students alike, visiting cities, small towns, rural areas, and everything in between. On today’s episode, we take a look at what’s going on in Allentown and Erie.
April 22nd, 2021 | 24 mins
In episode one of Underfunded, hosted by education journalists Melanie Bavaria and Meg St-Esprit, we take a look at what it's really like on the ground right now, for teachers, kids and communities.
April 1st, 2021 | 2 mins 18 secs
Inside The Fight To Fairly Fund Public Schools In Pennsylvania.