A group of religious leaders began a 10-day fast Saturday on the steps of the state Capitol in Harrisburg to rally for increased education funding.
POWER, or Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild, began the protest Saturday morning with a Shabbat service, led by two rabbis from Philadelphia. On Sunday, the 20 fasters will set up shop in a tent on the steps of the Capitol.
POWER spokeswoman Margaret Ernst said the group wants the state to dedicate an additional $3.6 billion to Pennsylvania schools – far more than the $400 million in additional funding proposed by Gov. Wolf this year.
The group also has advocated for a formula to determine how funding should be allocated among school districts. A bipartisan commission of state lawmakers last week proposed such a formula, giving weight to factors such as poverty, non-English speaking students, and charter payments.
Ernst said POWER has not yet taken a stance on the commission's proposal.
"Ultimately what matters is how much money goes through that formula," she said. "We need to fully fund schools."