Policy Corner: Ericka Weathers advocates for equitable school funding in wake of Pennsylvania ruling

February 27, 2024
Ericka S. Weathers, with a warm smile, stands confidently, her braided hair elegantly styled into an updo, complemented by large hoop earrings, a vibrant beaded necklace, and a chic beige blazer, reflected against a glass surface.

In 2023, Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer declared Pennsylvania’s school funding system unconstitutional, calling for reform to fulfill the constitutional mandate of providing equitable education opportunities to all students and challenging the state’s reliance on local property taxes, which perpetuates systemic inequality.

Ericka Weathers, an assistant professor in Penn GSE’s Policy, Organizations, Leadership, and Systems Division, gave her take on the news for the Penn GSE Magazine’s Policy Corner. She highlights the shortcomings of the 2016 Fair Funding Formula, particularly its “hold-harmless” provision that perpetuates inequality, especially affecting Black and Latinx communities.

Advocating for a revised approach, Weathers suggests a new funding formula that considers poverty, district size, and student needs, including a novel racial segregation funding weight to directly tackle racial disparities in education funding.

Read more in the Spring 2023 edition of the Penn GSE Magazine.