Recently, the phrase “Summer Slide” has been popping up in some of the e-newsletters and mailings I receive. Summer Slide is the loss of knowledge children experience over the summer months when they aren’t being actively engaged as they would during the school day. Working in a children’s library, I see first hand parents and children preparing for the end of school, browsing the shelves for required summer reads, discussing books for entertainment reads and asking my advice for age appropriate picks.
Sometimes as I chat with the families, I ask about school, where they go, what’s it like, what they like about it, don’t like about it, and what they wish they could change. The answers are as diverse as my book selections on the shelves. Some students tell me they didn’t receive a summer reading list. Depending on the location of the school, some administrators don’t bother assigning a summer reading list and set low expectations for students, assuming the kids will not even attempt to complete the assignments. Some offer such loose suggestions that even I have difficulty tracing down an appropriate read. Others share reading lists with books so outdated that they are out of print.
As a bibliophile and mother, I realize that there can and is a better way to support education of our youth. These reading lists are not enough; we need to ensure that all children have all of the tools they need to succeed in school and compete with their peers as they grow and venture into the world.
The Campaign for Fair Education Funding is trying to do just that. The campaign was created so that no child’s education suffers because of his/her a zip code. As of this time, Pennsylvania is one of three states without a basic funding formula. Pennsylvania has the widest funding gap between wealthy and poor school districts of any state in the country. Per-pupil spending in Pennsylvania’s poorest districts is 33% less than in its wealthiest districts.
Although I knew there were discrepancies, working with The Campaign for Fair Education Funding has given me more insight into the differences. Their mission is to ensure that Pennsylvania adopts and maintains an adequate and equitable system of funding public education by 2016. Every public school must have the resources necessary to enable every child to meet state academic standards, be prepared for post-secondary success, and become productive, knowledgeable, and engaged adults. The inconsistencies I see on daily basis in the schools and their students makes me want to spread the word and help as much as I can.
“How does one help?” You may ask. To which I can share there are several ways to get involved!
First, know the facts. You can read about why Pennsylvania needs a better education
funding system here: http://www.alliesforchildren.org/top-10-reasons-pennsylvania-needs–
Find out more about the Campaign.
The Campaign for Fair Education Funding is a statewide non-partisan effort made up of organizations that, collectively, represent Pennsylvanians from every corner of the state. Our campaign includes more than 50 education advocacy organizations; teachers and school administrators; representatives of charter schools and traditional public schools; urban and rural interests; business and organized labor; faith-based groups; and community groups. For a complete list of members, visit http://fairfundingpa.org/about/campaign-members.
Learn how you can get involved. : How to Get Involved in the Campaign for Fair Education Funding: http://fairfundingpa.org/get-involved
Click through to learn how you can share your story, contact your legislators and make your voice heard at the upcoming rally.
Our culture talks a good talk about education. Let’s put our money where our passion is and get fair education for our children!