Allentown Can’t Afford Social Studies, Parkland Has “Star Wars Money”

We’re all having a lot of fun with the Parkland High School looks the like Millennium Falcon meme.

If memory serves, the Official High School of the Rebel Alliance cost something like $70 million to build in the gilded late 90s.  Even though most of us never set foot in the new building, my friends and I absolutely benefited from the District’s considerable wealth in ways we’re probably still realizing.

In the decade-and-a-half and two recessions since I represented the Class of ’98 at the groundbreaking for that impressive building, a lot has changed.  The Parkland School District is still incredibly wealthy, but the contrasts between it and the neighboring Allentown School District have never been starker.

As I noted at Christmas, Parkland works hard to supplement its top-rate educational experience with community resources.  I don’t have a problem with that.  The Allentown School District does the same thing, all the while actually needing the help.

In the ASD right now, there are no-year round programs for music, art, or gym.  At this very moment, leaders are considering axing 6th-grade social studies from the curriculum.   Everything boils down to money, and despite the relatively high property taxes ASD residents pay, the district simply can’t afford to offer the same quality public education that Parkland kids get by default.

The educational economics of place are a damning thing.   One or two feet in the wrong direction is the difference between two vastly different educational experiences.  This is entirely legal, and entirely shameful.    Thankfully,volunteers and teachers and parents and other leaders are working hard to fill in gaps with successful Community School initiatives in the ASD at schools like Roosevelt.

But the gaps keep coming.  The cuts keep coming.  Equitable state funding doesn’t.

Is it time for Parkland to share some of that Star Wars money?

4 thoughts on “Allentown Can’t Afford Social Studies, Parkland Has “Star Wars Money”

  1. It is unfortunate that it seems that the kids with the greatest need always seem to get the short end of the stick. It is budget time everywhere in the state capital they are trying to figure out what is left to cut and it seems that Kindergarten is back on the chopping block this year. Then again I don’t know where the tax base can come from in a city where everywhere you look there is a state owned department of something or other? Equitable funding what a lovely dream is all I have to say.

  2. Someone once told me that the major businesses in the ASD are hospitals, which don’t have to pay property taxes and this is why ASD has so much less $. Is this true?

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