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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Education Cut Hurt Low-Income Communities the Most

In the final budget agreement for FY 2011-2012, the inequities that were in the House budget were NOT fixed and limited funds were restored to both wealthy and poor districts. For example, Chester County’s Tredyffin/Easttown School District, located in a well-off community, will receive 83% of the funding they were going to lose under Corbett’s budget proposal. On the other hand, Delaware County’s William Penn School District will only receive 17%, most likely forcing them to eliminate 45 positions.

Why is this occurring?

Well, one reason is because the funding formula used to determine how much each school district receives is not determined by any data. A data-driven formula was put into law in 2008, but has been ignored. Another reason is the decrease in state funding and support. Over the last 30 years, the state’s share of education funding has decreased from 55% to 35%. This puts the burden of funding education on local property taxes. Pennsylvania needs a data-driven funding formula for public education. We need our legislators to know that economic times are getting better and they need to STEP UP and do want is needed to get public education on the right track and to make sure EVERY CHILD is receiving a QUALITY education.

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