From the Monday files:
HARRISBURG -- A coalition of business, education and community groups gathered Monday at the Capitol to kick off a campaign for fair and predictable funding for K-12 education.
The group, The Campaign for Fair Education Funding, launches its public effort as a state commission holds hearings around the state on how Pennsylvania pays for its elementary and secondary schools.
Representatives of the funding campaign described principles that will guide their approach -- accurate data, stable funding, shared responsibility and accountability by schools -- but said they had not yet settled upon a formula they could recommend. The state funding commission, made up of Corbett administration officials and legislators, is charged with reporting to the General Assembly by June 2015.
"We will get to the point where we are advocating for a specific proposal," said Kathy Manderino, manager of the education funding campaign. "We are working our way through those principles, to figure out what all of our partners think needs to be in that formula. And at at the same time, obviously, we're following very carefully and kind of trying to share our knowledge and information and resources with the Basic Education Funding Commission because we realize we're on parallel paths."
Campaign members include A+ Schools, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Allies for Children, the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. Mayor Bill Peduto, in town for a meeting of the Pennsylvania Municipal League, appeared at the event.
Education funding has become a prominent topic in state politics, particularly in the campaign for governor. But where Democrats and Republicans have tangled over the accounting of state and federal money in their efforts to show if Gov. Tom Corbett cut or invested in public education, the group Monday stuck to broad goals of fairness and predictability.