Lancaster Advocacy Action Ministry
The first candle of Advent is Hope. As Christians, we talk a lot about Hope. Sometimes, we get so bogged down in the ephemeral that we forget how to bring Hope to others. Currently in Pennsylvania, advocacy groups are working to have our public schools funded fairly. Many do not realize that in 2016, under Governor Corbett, a formula was devised so the state would be able to distribute funding to the districts based upon their needs. To date, the state only puts 14% of its education budget through this formula. For this reason, as well as the state steadily decreasing its funding of public schools, the result is a giant gap between wealthy districts and poorer ones. Meaning less affluent areas are forced to enact higher taxes to fund their schools and most are not able to meet their needs. Over 80% of PA’s black and brown students attend schools that are underfunded!
While we are hoping that these issues can be reconciled through either the State Legislature or through the court case that is currently going on, we also need to act now. We need to ensure that our poorest families can fully take part in a great public-school education, which is the basis for our American dream. That dream is rooted in the hope that all children can live up to their fullest potential regardless of income!
This year, members of St. Peter’s have formed a group called Lancaster Advocacy Action Ministry (LAAM). LAAM is joining with other groups in Lancaster County to show our Representatives that it is past time to act on this issue. If you agree that all children brought up in the state of PA should have the benefits of a great education and a life that will be full of hope, please take action.
There are postcards in the narthex on the table by the office. Everyone is encouraged to send one to both their State House Representative and to Senator Scott Martin, who is the chair of the Education Committee. Just write a short sentence why you support equal and fair funding of public schools, your home address (so they know you are a constituent), and to whom you are mailing it. You can then take them home to address and stamp them yourself, OR you can leave them in the basket provided and members of LAAM will address and stamp them for you. Please consider supporting this important step towards equality in education.