Fair funding for all public schools
Dates Of Project: 
Education Law Center, Good Schools PA, Youth United for Change, Sto-Rox High School, McKeesport High School

Critical Exposure provided high school students across the state of Pennsylvania with cameras and training to enable them to document the impact of underfunding on their education, in partnership with organizations like Youth United for Change in Philadelphia. The students’ images and writing became a central component of a campaign effort to engage the public around the issue of educational inequity, and to build public and political support for funding reform aimed at closing the tremendous “opportunity gap” that has existed in the state for decades.

A traveling exhibit of student photographs was shown in public spaces across the state, including several art galleries and City Hall in Philadelphia and the East Wing Rotunda of the State Capitol in Harrisburg. The exhibits coincided with key legislative negotiations concerning Governor Edward Rendell’s proposed education budget. In June 2008, Critical Exposure’s partners Good Schools Pennsylvania (GSPA) and the Education Law Center (ELC) won a landmark victory. As part of the state’s 2008-09 budget, the legislature increased educational funding by $275 million. More importantly, the state implemented a much fairer model for distributing education funds.

"Without Critical Exposure, student voices would not have been heard in the same way. They ... helped us become much more focused on the power of students speaking for themselves. Our campaign would definitely not have been as successful without their work." - Baruch Kintisch, Education Law Center