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 44th 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 Coalition Launches Effort to Increase Funding for 100 Severely Underfunded PA School Districts
PA Rep. Schlossberg Introduces HB 1167 to Aid PA’s Most Under-Resourced Schools
HARRISBURG (April 15, 2021) – Level Up, a coalition of more than a dozen education advocacy organizations from across the commonwealth, launched a campaign today to increase state funding for the 100 most underfunded school districts in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania ranks 44th in the nation for state share of funding for K-12 education and has some of the nation’s widest gaps between wealthy and poor school districts. READ MORE
Rep. Schlossberg Introduces Level Up Bill – HB 1167
Advocates want $100M boost for Lancaster, other underfunded school districts Lancaster Online.com 4/16/2021 READ MORE
Advocates propose bill to send $100M in extra funding to Pa’s 100 poorest school districts ABC27.com 4/15/2021 READ MORE
Pennsylvania school districts discuss Level Up coalition to support underfunded districts YourErie.com 4/15/2021 READ MORE
Allentown, Bethlehem school districts would get extra money under push to fix ‘atrocious reality of underfunding The Morning Call 4/15/2021 READ MORE
Advocates call for Pennsylvania to send $100 million to 100 underfunded school districts Chalkbeat Philadelphia 4/15/2021 READ MORE