Building Equity for All in Pennsylvania
Greater Pennsylvania school funding is key to educational equity and a transformative investment in low-wealth communities
In Pennsylvania, Black and Hispanic students disproportionately live in low-wealth communities and attend high-poverty schools with less educational opportunity. This reality contributes to an achievement gap between white students and Black and Hispanic students that is among the worst in the country.
The Commonwealth’s overreliance on local property taxes to fund public education has exacerbated this problem. Low-wealth communities struggle to fund their schools resulting in inadequate resources to ensure student opportunity and success. Under-resourced and underperforming schools deter homebuyers and limit potential investment in the community. What results is a downward spiral, lowering property values, diminishing local tax revenue, and inhibiting wealth generation for families that live there.
At Keller Williams, we stand together for equity. In 2020, we formed the KW Social Equity Task Force to develop strategies and build systems to eliminate racial disparities internally and uproot such disparities in the real estate industry at large. We have encouraged our agents and brokers to lead conversations and be the catalysts for change towards a more equitable future within our communities. Ensuring all children attend adequately funded schools with an abundance of educational opportunities is fundamentally a part of that effort.
Sam Kreiser, Team Leader at The Dahlia Group at Keller Williams Elite Realty
Real estate professionals know the impact that school quality can have on a real estate market and the overall community. Research confirms this mutually reinforcing relationship between school quality and home values. As Pennsylvania, along with the rest of the nation, grapples with potential solutions for reversing systemic inequality, an obvious starting point for action is to provide greater state investment in education to ensure that all students attend adequately and equitably funded schools, ripe with opportunity for all children, families, and communities to succeed.