THURSDAYS FOR JUSTICE SERIES
Pennsylvania's Failed Education Funding System
May 20, 2021, 7 PM ET
Donna Cooper, Executive Director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth.
With Jason Harris, Morrisville School District Superintendent.
PCCY's Donna Cooper will discuss Pennsylvania's flawed education system and how unjust statewide policies and funding shortfalls continue to leave behind our most vulnerable children. Superintended Jason Harris will speak to real life experience running a school system in the current environment.
Join this discussion to not only learn how the system is failing our children, but also to learn how you can help to fight to fix it.
Learn why PCCY is and how it helps/protest our kids and out future.
Learn more about why your School taxes Increase
Hear about Special Education Funding
Learn about the impact of COVID on our Students
Learn about the "Lost Kids of COVID"
Learn about some of the Mental and Academic recovery plans/needs due to Covid
Impact of on-line teaching (Students and Teachers)
Impact of failed funding on our future
Impact of failed funding on sports music, clubs, and services
Hear about possible long-term impacts of failed funding on our kids and the community’s future
Hear more about the American Rescue Plan
Learn how districts are funded
Hear how different areas of counties are impacted by funding
MEET OUR PRESENTERS
Donna Cooper is the Executive Director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), the Greater Philadelphia region’s leading child advocacy organization that influences elected officials by combining useful research, practical solution-oriented policy recommendations with the mobilization of citizens who advance the organization’s work on behalf of children. Prior to PCCY, Cooper was a senior fellow at respected national think tank, the Center for American Progress, where she led the Center’s research on early childhood education, public infrastructure and was a contributing researcher to the Center’s work to reduce the incidence of poverty.
Cooper served as the Secretary of Policy and Planning for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 2003–2010 where she was responsible for the state’s education, public supports, environmental and health care policy. While in that position, Cooper led the development of the state’s Cover All Kids program which expanded access to affordable health care to nearly every child in the state. Cooper also led the seven-year effort to boost funding for public education that increased K-12 funding by over $2 billion and designed the state’s groundbreaking school funding formula which was enacted in 2008. In that position, she also helped launched the state’s model approach to investments in early childhood education and increased funding to make college affordable for low income and working-class students while creating one of the nation’s best systems to ensure that community college students can easily transfer credits to four year colleges.
Cooper was the founding Executive Director of Good Schools a grassroots organizing campaign that successfully pushed public education to the top issue in the 2002 race for Governor. Cooper also served as the City of Philadelphia’s Deputy Mayor of Policy and Planning from 1999–2002 where she designed and led the Greater Philadelphia Works Program, one of the nation’s largest and most successful efforts to help single mothers on welfare achieve self-sufficiency. Cooper has a Master’s degree in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, Fels Center of Government, as well as a master’s degree in Intercultural Management from the School for International Training.
Jason B. Harris, BM, MAT, brings a diverse background of experiences and training to bear in his service to the School District of Borough of Morrisville as its Superintendent of Schools.
Mr. Harris is a lifelong Delaware Valley resident, who has enjoyed a 20-plus-year career in education prior to coming to Morrisville. Mr. Harris completed his student teaching at Lower Merion School District’s Welsh Valley Middle School West and Gladwyne Elementary School in May 1996. In October 1996, he started his professional career as a long-term substitute at James Buchanan Elementary School, in Bristol Township School District. Upon completion of that assignment, he began working as a part-time Orchestra and Band Teacher in Moorestown Township, Delran Township and Lumberton Township Schools.
Mr. Harris was then recruited to work in the Bordentown Regional School District, where he served 9 years as K-12 Music Teacher. Administratively, Mr. Harris has served as a Supervisor of Curriculum, Elementary Principal and Director of Elementary Education. Prior to becoming the Superintendent in Morrisville, Mr. Harris served the District as its Business Manager and Substitute Superintendent.
Mr. Harris grew up in Philadelphia, attending grade schools in the School District of Philadelphia, followed by attending in Grades 10-12 at Bensalem High School.
Mr. Harris attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA as a Double Bass major, earning a Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Commercial Music as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching. Mr. Harris also earned his Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from Rider University. Currently, Mr. Harris is pursuing a Master of Organizational Leadership from University of Valley Forge. He is also an Adjunct Faculty member at Holy Family University, School of Education.
Mr. Harris lives in Bucks County, with his wife and children. Formerly, he has served the Bucks County Technical High School and the Bensalem Township School District as a School Board Director, and currently as a parent volunteer in its Arts programs. He and his family enjoy traveling and gathering with family and friends at their home, and seeks to serve others wherever there may be a need.
A list of resources, books, links, videos:
Bucks County's School District Fact Sheets: