SCHOOL FUNDING IN PA: WE MUST DO BETTER

Every child in Pennsylvania deserves robust course choices, class sizes that allow for personalized support, enough school counselors and nurses, and a safe learning environment so they can thrive and succeed in school today and live productive, fulfilling lives after graduation. 

But we don’t provide students in every community with the support they need to reach their potential.

Pennsylvania ranks 45th in the nation for state share of funding for K-12 education. When the state share of funding is low, communities must rely on local wealth – property taxes – to fund their schools. Communities with a robust local tax base can raise sufficient funding to meet students’ needs. Other communities simply cannot raise enough money at the local level, even with a very high local tax effort.

Pennsylvania’s Basic Education Funding formula does direct more dollars to districts with higher levels of need. But only a small percentage of education spending is distributed using the formula. Students in districts with the greatest needs are deeply shortchanged. It’s not a level playing field.

Pennsylvania has one of the most inequitable school funding systems in America. The wealthiest school districts spend, on average, $4,800 more per student than the poorest, and that gap has grown steadily wider.

At the current rate of increase in state educational spending, it will take decades or more for the most underfunded districts to reach adequate funding.

Level Up is a fresh alternative approach that can immediately begin to address the needs of the state’s most underfunded districts, which have been ignored for too long – while we continue to build support for a more ambitious investment in basic education funding and educational equity like the plan proposed by the governor.

Let’s level up school funding for our most underfunded schools and give every student in Pennsylvania a chance for success!



Level Up
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The Level Up Methodology

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08-08-2022 

GOVERNOR TOM WOLF CELEBRATES HISTORIC LEVEL UP FUNDING IN PA BUDGET

Wolf, Local Leaders Mark 2022-23 Education Funding Increase

Erie, PA  — Level Up supporters joined Governor Tom Wolf at Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy in Erie today to celebrate the $225 million Level Up funding supplement increase as part of the 2022–23 budget agreement. Level Up funding helps move the state’s 100 school districts that have the greatest student need and the fewest resources further along the long road toward adequate funding. Level Up school districts in Erie County include Erie’s Public Schools, Northwestern, and Girard School Districts.  READ MORE

07-08-2022 

LEVEL UP COALITION APPLAUDS SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS, SCHOOLS IN PA BUDGET 
$225 Million Level Up Supplement is Consequential Step in the Right Direction 

HARRISBURG — As part of the 2022–23 budget agreement, lawmakers included a $225 million equity supplement for the state’s 100 school districts that have the greatest student need and the fewest resources. The measure is based on the Level Up coalition’s 2021 proposal supported by superintendents across the state, which Governor Wolf included in his Executive Budget Proposal and was the basis for HB 2414 and outlined in SB 1223 introduced by Representative Michael Schlossberg and Senator Tim Kearney. 
READ MORE

 

05-11-2022

Bipartisan Support Stacks Up Behind $300 Million Level Up Funding for PA’s 100 Most Underfunded School Districts

PA Rep. Schlossberg Introduces HB 2414, PA Senator Kearney Introduces SB 1223 to Take PA’s Most Under-Resourced Schools to the Next Level

HARRISBURG – Two pieces of legislation that would make a significant dent in Pennsylvania’s school funding gap show strong bipartisan support in Pennsylvania General Assembly. Level Up — first approved in the 2021-22 PA budget — would target funding to the 100 school districts that have the greatest student need and the fewest resources. Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal includes an increase to $300 million allocation for the program. READ MORE

 

LATEST PRESS

Gov. Wolf speaks on historic increase in education funding, says there's more work to do Erie Times-News August 9, 2022 READ MORE

'Moral scandal': Gov. Wolf proposal, lawsuit aim to cut Pennsylvania school funding gap trib live April 17, 2021 READ MORE

Lawmaker’s ‘Level Up’ bill takes aim at Pa.’s education inequity in Lehigh Valley, elsewhere Lehigh Valley Live Apr 17, 2021 READ MORE

Level Up Coalition Launches Effort to Increase Funding for 100 Severely Underfunded PA School Districts My ChseCo April 16, 2021 READ MORE

Rep. Schlossberg calls for more money for schools, admits getting it could be tough 69 News WFMZ-TV Apr 16, 2021 READ MORE

Representative Schlossberg looks for more money for poorer schools WFMZ-TV Apr 16, 2021 READ MORE

Distressed schools across Pa. join together to push for $100 million relief WITF APRIL 16, 2021 READ MORE




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