Attorneys for the legislative defendants in Pennsylvania’s main education funding trial on Friday appeared to attempt to paint the School District of Lancaster as technology-rich, with distinctive alternatives for college students, on Lancaster Superintendent Damaris Rau’s second day of testimony.
Rau, who spent six hours on the stand Thursday detailing how state help doesn’t meet the district’s intense want for assets, was peppered with questions for one more seven hours Friday as the college funding trial wrapped up its fourth week.
The Commonwealth Court case pits state political and education officers in opposition to six faculty districts, together with Lancaster, a number of mother and father and two statewide advocacy organizations that allege the state’s funding system shortchanges college students, notably minorities and low-income college students.
During cross-examination Friday, Anthony Holtzman, a lawyer representing state Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, challenged Rau on points starting from the district’s 20-year plan to renovate all of its buildings and its nationally famend International Baccalaureate program to the know-how they home of their school rooms and state income per pupil.
Holtzman identified that the district has spent greater than $220 million on development tasks within the final 10 years. He additionally quoted extensively from experiences commissioned by the district that lauded its International Baccalaureate program, in addition to its award-winning music program. One report said Lancaster “sets the standard in urban education.”
In response, Rau mentioned the district does some issues “really well despite the lack of resources.” However, she mentioned she questions whether or not the district is doing so proper by its college students.
“Students do not have access to that education because they are struggling to achieve in reading, math and writing,” she mentioned.
Holtzman additionally requested Rau concerning the district’s use of know-how, highlighting its one-to-one iPad program and the use of Apple TV in school rooms. Some of these know-how enhancements got here after the district obtained federal pandemic reduction funding to assist with distant studying, Rau mentioned.
Using the state’s Future Ready PA Index, Holtzman in contrast School District of Lancaster to 2 different county faculty districts, Conestoga Valley and Penn Manor, that don’t obtain as a lot state income per pupil as Lancaster but whose college students fare higher on standardized assessments.
Rau identified each these faculty districts don’t serve practically as many low-income college students or college students requiring further providers equivalent to college students studying English as a second language.
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Matt Przywara, School District of Lancaster’s chief monetary and operations officer, is predicted to testify early subsequent week.