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Senator Hughes and Democrats Press for Shale Tax to Fund $1 Billion Education Investment :: June 2, 2015
Senator Hughes and Democrats Press for Shale Tax to Fund $1 Billion Education Investment :: June 2, 2015

Three Reasons Why We Need More Funds for All Schools – Especially Philadelphia


I am writing with an urgent message: Philadelphia’s public schools are in crisis. Thanks to massive cuts to state funding by former Governor Corbett, our children are being deprived of the academic environment that is necessary for them to succeed. That’s why I’m asking you to support at tax on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale to fully fund education.

Why is our public education system in crisis? Consider these facts:

Class Size

Reason 1: The Class-Size Crisis.

Philadelphia’s public schools now have an average of more than 30 students per classroom. This is happening because thousands of teachers and other support personnel have been laid off due to budget cuts. Academic research says that students, especially from low-income households, need to be in classes smaller than 20 to show scholastic gains. IIn comparison, some well-funded suburban schools have class sizes as low as 10 students per teacher.


Reason 2: The Per-Pupil Spending Crisis.

A new study by Education Research Strategies found that Philadelphia’s public schools are spending less per child to educate than in 2007. The spending per-pupil has dropped from $13,384 in 2007-08 to $12,724 in 2013-14. The biggest factor is deep cuts at the state level, which has dramatically shrunk the state’s share of funding to local public education. 

Class Size



Reason 3: The PA Crisis in Funding Rich & Poor School Districts.

According to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Pennsylvania has done the worst job nationwide of funding poor school districts. The state has the largest gap between wealthy and low-income schools, with the poorest school districts spending 33 percent less than their wealthier counterparts. That means that students born in a low-income household are being denied opportunities available to wealthier students.  


Senator HughesThis is why we need to support proposals by Governor Wolf and Senator Hughes to tax natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale and fund public schools. Contact the Governor and let him know to stand strong for our schools.

Contact Gov Wolf Contact Governor Tom Wolf

Contact Governor Wolf By Clicking Here


State Senator Vincent Hughes


A Southwest Philadelphia School that Runs on Fumes

By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer | June 15, 2015

The principal was in midsentence when her cellphone alarm chirped, a jarringly cheerful reminder of what many city schools lack.

The alert meant it was time for Cheryl Hackett to summon one of her Mitchell Elementary students for a blood-sugar check. The seventh grader's numbers had been high, and the principal was worried, because this was one of the days the school had no nurse.

Four miles away, politicians in City Hall were discussing how much money the Philadelphia School District would get to cover an $85 million gap and begin to restore the cuts of the last several years.

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Report: Philly Per-Pupil Spending Below 2007 Level

By Solomon Leach, Daily News Staff Writer l May 29, 2015

Senator HughesPHILADELPHIA'S public schools are spending less per child than in 2007, partially due to rising costs for pensions and health care, according to an independent report released yesterday by the school district.

The analysis, conducted by Education Research Strategies Inc., a Massachusetts-based nonprofit research organization, shows the district spent $12,724 per-pupil in 2013-14, down from $13,384 in 2007-08, a 5 percent decline.

District officials said the report bears out what they have been saying for a while - mandated costs are rising faster than revenue, taking precious dollars away from the classroom.

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Education Secretary Arne Duncan Says PA’s Funding Gap Between Rich, Poor Schools is Nation’s Worst

By Huizhong Wu, Inquirer Staff Writer | March 22, 2015

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Friday that Pennsylvania does the worst job in the nation of funding low-income school districts.

"The state of Pennsylvania is 50th, dead last, in terms of the inequality between how wealthy school districts are funded and poor districts," Duncan said.

Recent Education Department figures show that the amount spent on each student in Pennsylvania's poorest school districts is 33 percent less than the amount spent on each student in the wealthier districts.

With Duncan as he visited Edwin M. Stanton School at 17th and Christian St., in the city's Graduate Hospital neighborhood, was Mayor Nutter, who said there was no reason for the current situation "but for the lack of political will."

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Learn more about the issues and provide your feedback on my website at as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@SenatorHughes).

Offices of State Senator Vincent Hughes

4950 Parkside Avenue | Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Phone: 215.879.7777
Fax: 215.879.7778
Senate Box 203007
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3007
Phone: 717.787.7112
Fax: 717.772.0579
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