ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Representative Austin Davis, D-Allegheny County, hosted a telephone town hall meeting last night focused on his top priority in the coming state budget debate: an increased investment for PA public schools.
Hundreds of Pennsylvanians in Allegheny County joined the town hall, voiced support for investment in early childhood education, public schools and vocational training and echoed that the state budget should tax shale and direct the revenue toward public schools.
“I want to make sure that our young people get the best education possible so that they can live up to their fullest potential,” said Rep. Davis. “To do that, we need to increase the state’s share of education funding—we’ve been over-reliant on local property taxes and we need the state to create a new revenue source to make investments in our students and classrooms.”
Residents also asked questions about how to ensure adequate resources for all school districts, ensure companies pay their fair share, increase access to early childhood education and raise pay for early childhood educators, close the achievement gap, and provide training for well-paying jobs. Rep. Davis explained the House Democrat’s Plan for Pennsylvania and their efforts to put people first in this year’s budget fight.
The town hall was sponsored by the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a national resource and strategy center that supports progressive state legislators. The call reached 3,538 people with a peak of over 550 people on the line at a time. The next SiX-sponsored telephone town hall is on Thursday, May 24th, with Representative Patty Kim, D-Dauphin County, and Senator Art Haywood, D-Philadelphia County, and is focused on raising wages and creating a budget that works for working families.