Governor Tom Wolf proposed Pennsylvania's "Level Up" funding stream, which will triple the amount of funding to $300 million in the state's poorest districts.
This year's "Level Up" proposal will allocate $119 million to Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Wolf also plans to give $1.25 billion to all 500 districts to distribute equal funding to Pennsylvania's most struggling school districts.
First introduced last year, the Level Up initiative has so far funded $100 million for Pennsylvania's poorest 100 school districts and $200 million for all districts. In total, the funding increased Pennsylvania's main subsidy for K-12 schools to $7 billion.
This additional funding will aim to decrease the educational disparity by about $1000 per student, increasing Philadelphia's current spending to $15,000 per student. In context, this is about half of what Lower Merion Township, which spends $30,000 per student, said Donna Cooper, the executive director of Children First, a child welfare nonprofit organization.
"Every student in Pennsylvania deserves a top-tier education. But inequity and underfunding mean that some students aren't getting the opportunities they need. And that's bad for all of us," Governor Wolf told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Some members of the Penn community have also sought various ways to improve the quality and accessibility of education in the surrounding community.
2020 College graduates Aiden Gonzalez and Mark Rook and 2018 Wharton graduate Tanner Bowen founded Education Association of America to transform education locally and nationally. Recently, Penn made a $4.1 million investment into West Philadelphia's Henry C. Lea Elementary School.