Pittsburgh school board candidates pledge equitable school funding

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The A+ Schools coalition has been working with Pittsburgh Public Schools in recent years to promote equitable distribution of resources to all schools across the district.

In many cases, that means the most resources go to the schools with the poorest students.

Today, the organization asked the nine candidates for five seats on the Pittsburgh school board to sign a pledge that they, too, will advocate for equity across the district.

Eight of the candidates showed up to publicly sign a banner supporting the pledge. They are Lucille Prater-Holliday and Sylvia Wilson, candidates in District 1; Stephen DeFlitch and Terry Kennedy, candidates from District 5; Cynthia Falls, candidate from District 7; and Lorraine Burton Eberhardt, Carolyn Klug and Dave Schuilenberg from District 9.

School director Thomas Sumpter, who is running unopposed for re-election in District 3, signed the pledge earlier but did not attend the public function held at the Hill House.

Carey Harris, A+ executive director, said the significance of the event is that it ensures the move toward equity across the district will continue. She said a year ago there were 10 schools without libraries, and this year, despite a $50 million cut in the district's budget, every school has a library.

Similar situations occurred with some students' access to art, music and guidance counselors, she said.

Ms. Harris said Pittsburgh Superintendent Linda Lane's eyes "are wide open to the problem" and that she is working to make sure that all students in the city have equal access to resources.

Now that board candidates have signed the pledge to continue that effort, "schools with a high percentage of poor kids now will have more resources to spend meeting student needs relative to their peers," Ms. Harris said.

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Mary Niederberger: mniederberger@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1590.


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