HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) on Wednesday made the following statement on the recent Commonwealth Court decision finding that Pennsylvania’s system of education funding is unconstitutional:
“Yesterday’s Commonwealth Court decision is disappointing, but not surprising from a state judiciary that consistently identifies itself as a legislature to reach policy gains political allies cannot achieve in the General Assembly.
“During the last several years, we have seen the Pennsylvania courts deny basic math when determining what is a majority, cave to special interests to reverse judicial policy that will now raise the costs of receiving medical care in Pennsylvania, and create election law out of whole cloth to make our elections less secure and increase questions about the legitimacy of our government.
“Let us not forget that the judiciary who yesterday found fault with Pennsylvania’s system of funding public education is the same branch of government that consistently opposed transferring surplus funds from the courts to fund a statewide school safety program designed to protect students.
“Over the last 12 years of Republican leadership in the General Assembly, we have repeatedly prioritized student success over increasing the wealth of school districts while at the same time increasing state taxpayer support for public schools despite declining enrollments.
“Unfortunately, the problems existing in our public education system go well beyond funding. The only part of optimism in yesterday’s decision is the recognition that merely providing more money to the public school system is not the only available answer to fix a failing system.
“Many of our public schools often lack real accountability and have become captured by special interests and bureaucrats who put their needs above that of the students. Unfortunately, many public schools remain reluctant about increasing parental involvement in how their children are educated. In fact, some schools have lost their core mission of providing an education and, instead, focus on newer buildings and non-educational endeavors at the cost of meeting standards.
“Our declining test scores during periods of record state funding have consistently demonstrated that money alone cannot educate students.
“While we work to continue to provide increased support for students in our public schools, it is imperative that we also provide Pennsylvania families the choice to find educational options that meet the demands of a rapidly changing future while simultaneously meeting the needs of each Pennsylvania family so students are no longer trapped in failed systems and can succeed regardless of ZIP code.”
Republican Leader Bryan Cutler
100th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives