Improving public education
Expanding and improving public education is Jennifer’s number one priority as a legislator. Jennifer has committed to implementing the entire formula generated by the Basic Education Funding Commission and ensuring quality public schools across Pennsylvania. Jennifer opposes merit pay for teachers, favoring instead a model in which teachers can run their classrooms creatively without worrying about standardized test scores for their paycheck. Jennifer will fight hard for the rights of teachers to organize for better pay, fair hours, and continued pensions. As a first-generation college student and current university administrator, Jennifer also understands the challenges posed within higher education. She has advocated for increased university funding and, as a legislator, will make it a priority to increase awareness about and accessibility for two-year degree programs.
Jennifer is also committed to ensuring that public schools are equitable and well-funded. Pennsylvania ranks 47th in the country for public school funding, providing only 37% of basic education and 25% of special education costs. Additionally, as an increasing proportion of public school funding is collected through local property taxes, educational inequity is exacerbated – wealthy areas continue to have well-funded schools, while lower-income areas suffer. As a legislator, Jennifer will fight to increase other sources of school funding and take the burden off working taxpayers.