How to Advocate for Public Schools

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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.


The Mayor, City Council, State & Congressional Representatives

Find the elected officials who represent the district your school is in.


Pennsylvania State Government

Pennsylvania General Assembly 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.

Fnd your PA Senator/Representative using your address.

Find the names and phone numbers of your own state representative and state senator.

Call Gov. Tom Wolf’s Office: 717-787-2500


Register to Vote

Polls show that many 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 PFT members!

Over 95% of PFT members vote in local, state and national elections. Although many voters wonder whether their vote counts, the PFT has shown that, in local and state elections, getting our members, families and friends to the polls has  a huge impact on the elected leaders who represent our interests.

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