Public schools are the backbone of our community and the key to developing a vibrant local economy, an educated and skilled workforce and civic-minded citizens.
The School District of Philadelphia was taken over under Act 46 of 2001 by the state, which now appoints 3 of 5 School Reform Commissioners who select a superintendent and oversee the district. The mayor of Philadelphia appoints the remaining two commissioners. The state and city are primarily responsible for allocated tax money to fund school district programs, with the state contributing more than half of the district's operating budget, the city contributing a third of the budget and the remainder coming through federal government programs (Title I, for example).
As a result, taxpayers, voters and other education advocates must lobby on several levels simultaneously - at the city - the mayor and with City Council members; at the state - the governor and State Senators and Representatives; and at the federal level: the White House, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
NEW! CLICK HERE to find the elected officials who represent the district your school is in.
provides between half and two thirds of the School District's funding each year as part of the statewide budget process. The governor proposes a budget in February and must pass a balanced budget by June 30 each year. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate meet from mid-September through June. It's important for PFT members to keep in touch with their state Senators and Representatives, to let them know where their constituents stand on isses and proposed legislation.
Click here to find your PA Senator/Representative using your address.
Use this link to follow a particular piece of legislation.
Call Gov. Corbett at 717-787-2500
Click here to find the names and phone numbers of your own state representative and state senator.
PFT members can join a powerful, effective online activist network to help advocate for students, public education and the rights of working people. To stay connected to the union's political and legislative program, PFT members can join our e-Activist Network and receive email alerts when new action campaigns are added to our Legislative Action Center.
PFT members can register here.
Polls show that Americans aren't satisfied with their elected representatives, yet the percentage of eligible voters who cast ballots in elections has been declining since the 1960s. That isn't the case for union members in general and PFT members in particular. PFT members are represented disproportionately at the polls. Although many voters wonder whether their vote counts, in local and state elections high voter turnout by a particular group can have a profound impact on who represents us. The PFT encourages every member to register and to vote in every election. High schools may also hold voter registration drives to encourage new 18-year-olds to register to vote as well. Click below to register to vote in the state where you reside. Contact your PFT staff representative for voter registration forms for your co-workers, parents and students.
Register to Vote in PA
Register to Vote in DE
Register to Vote in NJ