Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania's Opportunity Gap

35%
15th

Thousands of students in Philadelphia staged a massive, city-wide walkout recently to protest the under-resourcing of their schools and school closures. A number of OTL allies participated in the event, including the Philadelphia Student Union and Youth United for Change, two of the largest student organizing groups in the city.
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Mass school closings have become a hallmark of today's dominant education policy agenda. But rather than helping students, these closures disrupt whole communities. And as U.S. Department of Education data suggests, the most recent rounds of mass closings in Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia disproportionately hurt Black and low-income students.

Oct 31

In a recent segment, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin referred to an OTL Campaign infographic showing the disparate impact of school closures on students of color and students from low-income families. He also highlighted the work of organizers in Philly fighting for their public schools.

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Oct 22

As Pennsylvania legislators returned to session on September 23rd, they were greeted at the Capitol by advocates representing 40 districts across the state holding a press conference. The event, organized by Education Voters of Pennsylvania (an OTL ally) and several other groups, focused on demanding that policymakers support the creation of an equitable school funding formula.

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Oct 16

The tragic death of a sixth-grade Philadelphia student illustrates the dire need to ensure that every child has access to quality health and wellness services at school.

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Oct 09

Mass school closures are the "shock doctrine" of the education world. But parents, students, teachers and communities are fighting back to ensure their public schools receive the investments and supports they need to succeed.

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Aug 14

A coalition of parents, students, community members and faith leaders in Philadelphia is threatening to boycott the start of the school year if the district doesn't receive the funds it needs to safely open and staff the city's public schools.

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Data
Annie E. Casey Foundation, Jul 2013
The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States. In addition to ranking states on overall child well-being, the Data Book ranks states in four domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community.
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Policy
National Education Policy Center, May 2013
The National Education Policy Center's new book "Closing the Opportunity Gap" offers a wide array of policy recommendations for closing the opportunity gap and ensuring all students have the resources they need to succeed. This policy guide distills the most important recommendations from the book at three different levels: at the level of students' individual needs, at the level of in-school opportunities and resources, and at the level of communities and neighborhoods.
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Graph/Visual
Opportunity to Learn Campaign , Apr 2013
Mass school closings have become a hallmark of today's dominant education policy agenda. But rather than helping students, these closures disrupt whole communities. And as U.S. Department of Education data suggests, the most recent rounds of mass closings in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia disproportionately hurt Black and low-income students. Click here to learn about alternatives that support students rather than close school doors on them.
Download the Graph/Visual >