Western Pennsylvania students travel to Harrisburg to advocate for fair funding

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Every day, hundreds of students from multiple underserved communities enter Woodland Hills High School, but now these students are taking their fight for fair funding to the state capitol to get what they said they need to learn.

“People will speak about how they want kids in our generation to grow up being great, we need help being great,” Junior Mya Jackson said.

Jackson is just one of nearly 100 students who took this fight to Harrisburg on Tuesday.

“We need more money to do better things, we want our education too. Some of us don’t have the amount of money that other people have but we still want the education we are supposed to have,” Jackson said.

In February, the state ruled that the fair funding formula was unconstitutional, meaning that the state funds for school districts were not being distributed equally, but nothing has changed.

“If the funding was fair we are talking several million dollars and those several million dollars to a school like Clairton, McKeesport, Woodland Hills means staff it means having the appropriate amount of guidance counselors for the amount of the students you have in a building, the appropriate amount of nurses, trauma support,” said Dr. Daniel Castagna who’s Woodland Hills Superintendent.

Students from Woodland Hills, Penn Hills, Clairton and McKeesport stood on the steps of the capitol looking for answers even questioning lawmakers.

“I feel like they didn’t give us any full answers, we ask them what they are doing to make it happen, everyone is talking about it saying they agree with us but they don’t have the answers when we say when are you going to make it happen,” said Sophomore Scoop Smith.

Time is running out for these students in the pivotal years of their public education. They feel empowered asking for change, but it’s unclear if they will ever benefit.

“It would help us learn getting the better education we need with more teachers and stuff and I feel like that money will help us,” Junior Amere Brown.

Channel 11 did reach out to state representatives and senators on both sides of the aisle to find out where the fair funding formula stands, but did not hear back.

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