Legislature target of Shippensburg rally for education funding

Written by Dale Heberling, Public Opinion Online | Jun 4, 2015 4:00 PM
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A group gathers at a King Street, Shippensburg, pavilion Wednesday, June 3, 2015 for the Education Matters meeting. (Markell DeLoatch, Public Opinion Online)

(Shippensburg) -- Susan Spicka keeps her shoulder to the wheel in her fight to reform legislative funding of public education in Pennsylvania.

Spicka, advocacy coordinator for Education Voters of PA and a frequent critic at school board meetings in Shippensburg, organized a rally Wednesday evening that attracted about 50 people - none of them state legislators - to the Spring Lot Gazebo on West King Street.

The rally featured eight guest speakers who delivered brief remarks, castigating legislators for taking no action to increase education spending or level the playing field that greatly favors wealthy state school districts.

Half-hearted chants, mostly by children who accompanied adults to the event, followed.

Mayor Bruce Hockersmith, the first speaker, rebuked the community for the lukewarm turnout.

"This lot should be filled with people tonight, not just a few," Hockersmith said, before urging those in attendance to raise their voices to demand the legislature meet its Constitutional requirement.

"Let's send a message from Shippensburg to Harrisburg with a loud and resounding voice, not that we want adequate funding of education, but that we demand it," he said.

Cumberland County Commissioner Jim Hertzler echoed Hockersmith's tenor, citing Article III of the state constitution that dictates funding of a "thorough and efficient system of public education."

Six subsequent speakers touched on various levels of funding failure.

This article comes to us through a partnership between Public Opinion Online and WITF. 

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