Carlisle High School junior Samantha Martin brought her case for increasing funding for public schools to the Capitol Wednesday.
Martin was one of several speakers representing teachers, principals and parents in a Pennsylvania Schools Work rally calling for significant increases in state funding for classrooms, including $400 million for basic education, $100 million for special education funding to support students with intellectual disabilities or other health impairments, and $10 million for career and technical education.
Martin said she found her life’s passion within the walls of Carlisle High School as she learned about abolitionists, suffragists and labor unionists. She plans a career in politics, and is preparing for that career through an advanced placement seminar, teaching her how to think critically and analyze sources. The seminar is offered in fewer than 1,500 schools nationwide.
“Without proper funding for public schools, and without dedicated teachers and administrators, neither I nor any of my friends would be able to find and develop our passions,” she said.
Because people are mastering skills earlier and earlier in a fast-paced society, students need to be prepared for a world in which what used to be considered basic education is no longer enough, she said.
“Make sure they have the tools they need to allow students to meet today’s challenges, not the challenges of a decade ago. Instead of lagging in the past, I hope you will focus on the future,” Martin said.