Dawkins, HDPC discuss education funding

PHILADELPHIA, March 9 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., served as co-chairman of today’s House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on education funding in Philadelphia.  

Dawkins requested the hearing, citing the need for a fair education funding formula that would give students in urban districts an equal opportunity at a quality education in Pennsylvania.  

"As a new legislator, the oath of office is fresh in my mind," Dawkins said. "We have a constitutional obligation to provide a quality education to all Pennsylvania children. We need to do everything in our power to uphold that commitment, regardless of where students live."

Those testifying at the hearing included: Pedro Rivera, acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education; Philadelphia City Council members Maria Quinones-Sanchez, 7th District, and Jannie Blackwell, 3rd District; Isaiah Thomas, associate dean of students at Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School; Helen Gym, co-founder, Parents United for Public Education; Nelson Diaz, partner at Dilworth Paxson LLP; Brett Schaeffer, communications director and policy analyst at the Education Law Center; Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn, Education Committee chair of the PA State Conference of NAACP Branches; and Bishop Dwayne Rouster, executive director of Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower & Rebuild (POWER).

Dawkins said each panelist contributed a meaningful perspective on the commonwealth’s need for an education funding formula.

"A fair funding formula is the only way that ALL Pennsylvania students will have access to a quality education," Dawkins said. "The governor’s proposed budget includes a historic investment in education. We need to make sure that Pennsylvania’s students directly benefit from the funds."

Dawkins co-chaired the hearing with state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, who serves as House Democratic Policy Committee chairman.

"I applaud Representative Dawkins for his efforts on behalf of the students in Philadelphia and across the state," Sturla said. "Even as a new member in the House, he has been at the forefront of the discussion on how the commonwealth can better our schools and ensure fairer funding."

For hearing materials, including testimonies, and more information about the Policy Committee, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.