Public Education

The PA General Assembly needs to start by applying the fair funding formula to all of education funding. This will go a long way in bringing up-to-even schools that have fallen behind over the past decade since we passed education cuts that resulted in an unconstitutionally unequal and underfunded public education system. Some districts could receive up to $5000 more per year per student without significantly impacting districts that are already better-funded, but we do need to invest in off-setting any losses in those districts as well, and now is the time to make those investments, especially as the General Assembly is under PA Supreme Court mandate to do so. Fair funding ensures we are investing wisely. 

PA’s Republican-led education cuts prompted some districts to successfully sue the General Assembly for failing to live-up to its mandate in the PA Constitution to  “provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.” 

In addition to failing our students, the State not paying their share has placed an undue financial burden on homeowners and local districts to keep our schools running. PA homeowners’ share of education funding is well above the national average. 

This has all happened because pro-public education Democrats have not been able to win control of the PA House and Senate and prevent the privatization of our tax dollars and the disregard for our public schools. 

Mark, our campaign, and voters in York and Cumberland Counties will be the ones to flip the Senate and pass pro-education legislation. 

Districts are losing money, and taxes are being privatized through unregulated charter schools in PA. Charter schools in PA need to be legitimate and held to standards if they are receiving public funds. Mark supports parents having choices in PA, from public to private to homeschooling, depending on the needs of every parent and student. However, other options shouldn’t be funded at the expense of our regulated, standardized, reliable, and Constitutionally-mandated public schools. 

We are facing a teacher shortage, and we need to hire quality teachers and then trust them to guide our students without subjecting them to special interest-driven culture wars. We need to provide inclusive and high quality education for all PA students, including trans youth who are currently particularly at risk. 

Working families in PA need full-day kindergarten and reliable after-school care. Our schools can provide these services if we provide them with the funding, and there is no more cost-effective or safe and reliable option. 

Finally, a situation that needs far more attention is the devastation of our State System of Higher Education schools. These schools have provided jobs and educations and have been a backbone of communities throughout Pennsylvania. At one time, PA schools were just about the best state colleges in the nation. Mark grew up in Lock Haven, PA, and his wife Kristal Markle-Temons went to Bloomsburg University for her bachelor’s degree. Their friends and colleagues work at and attend nearby Shippensburg and Millersville Universities, and Mark supports making those schools a priority again in our PA economy.