Educate Yourself on Why We Need Fair Funding for Pennsylvania Schools.
Improving Pennsylvania’s public education system is vital to building stronger communities and local economies. Yet we’re facing a funding crisis that has 473 of 500 Pennsylvania school districts operating with insufficient resources.* It’s time to adopt a fair funding formula, like almost every other US state has done.
What would a funding formula do?
Quite simply, it would level the playing field across the state. Currently, state funding for Pennsylvania’s public school districts is not dispersed equally. Some schools get more funding and some get less and the impact on an underfunded community can be devastating. Ours is one of only three states in the US without a funding formula.
Is there a wide gap between districts?
Yes. Per-pupil funding can range from as high as $22,962 in some districts to as low as $8,659 in others. Those districts receiving less funding have to reduce educational programs or raise taxes to cover the difference. This is often the case in poorer, urban districts where taxpayers can least afford to pay more.
Why hasn’t the state fixed the problem?
Pennsylvania has begun to take some good first steps. In 2014, the Commonwealth created a Basic Education Funding Commission tasked with recommending better ways to distribute funding. But this isn’t enough. The Pennsylvania Legislature and Governor Wolf need to follow through and implement a fair funding formula that gives our public school students the education they need to graduate from high school career-ready and able to be productive earners.
Is fair funding enough?
No. Adequate funding is just as crucial as fair funding. Pennsylvania ranks 5th in the nation for the amount of education funding the state puts on the shoulders of school districts/taxpayers. In other words, 45 other states provide a higher percentage of funding to their public schools than Pennsylvania. This has to change if we’re to properly prepare millions of young Pennsylvanians for the working world.
What are the PA Education funding facts?
Click here for Education Fact Sheet.