of us would be astonished at how much a public school classroom has changed
since we were last a student. Not only is the technology drastically different
with smart boards, laptops, and iPads becoming essential education tools, but
students also have access to a much wider range of subjects and learning
opportunities than even just 10 years ago. In the Downingtown School District,
we are fortunate that our teachers and administrators have been at the
forefront of these changes and have worked together with parents and the
community to create one of the best educational environments in Southeastern
Pennsylvania. This is important, now more than ever, because in today’s global
economy, a high-quality education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity—it
is a prerequisite to success.
While the look of public education has changed, unfortunately the manner in
which it is funded has not, with local property taxes and state funds remaining
as the cornerstones of school budget revenues. The reduction of already tight
education budgets we’ve seen in states across the country, including
Pennsylvania, illustrate the risk of relying solely on those funding sources.
The economic and political climate can dramatically alter tax revenue, directly
affecting the educational quality of our schools. Public school districts not
developing new sources of funding now will find it increasingly difficult to
offer the superior education necessary to succeed in a global economy based on
knowledge and innovation. If action is not taken we are placing our children’s
futures and our community in jeopardy.