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!
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
GOVERNOR TOM WOLF PROPOSES $300 MILLION LEVEL UP FUNDING SUPPLEMENT
100 Poorest School Districts Need This Equity Supplement
Harrisburg, PA – As part of the FY 2022-23 PA Budget Proposal, Governor Tom Wolf proposed a $300 million allocation for the Level Up Supplement. This proposed money would go directly to PA’s 100 most underfunded school districts to boost the quality of education, helping to close the long-standing equity and adequacy gaps that currently exist in the state’s school funding system. This supplement is in addition to a proposed historic increase of $1.25 billion in basic education funding that will benefit every school district. READ MORE
PA LAWMAKERS PASS $100 MILLION LEVEL UP FUNDING SUPPLEMENT
100 poorest school districts to receive equity supplement in 2021-22 budget
HARRISBURG (June 25, 2021) – As part of the 2021-22 budget agreement, lawmakers agreed to target a $100 million equity supplement to the state’s 100 lowest wealth school districts. The measure is based on the Level Up coalition’s proposal, the basis for HB 1167 introduced by Representative Michael Schlossberg in April 2021. 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