Many 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.