Lawmakers must take meaningful action.
In order to solve the problem of inequitable education funding, we need Pennsylvania’s lawmakers to put their money where their mouth is. We believe lawmakers must support meaningful, impactful legislation and education budgets that ensure that every student receives full and fair funding. Efforts should be made to combine fair funding reform with other legislation such as charter and special education funding reforms, mandate relief, and an increase in overall education spending in order to ensure that every district has the resources it needs to educate its students.
Fair Funding Proposals:
There are a number of legislative proposals geared toward increasing equity and adequacy in state funding. Some of these bills aim to adjust the current funding so that it is distributed in alignment to the Fair Funding Formula. Other bills focus on accelerating new funding toward districts that are underfunded or have adequacy shortfalls.
Also of note:
Governor Wolf’s 2021-2022 Budget Proposal aimed to address Pennsylvania’s severe funding inequities through a 1.3B increase to education funding, with most of those dollars going toward districts currently receiving less than their fair share. It also ensured no district would lose state funds. This new funding was to be raised through a restructuring of the Personal Income Tax, effectively raising the tax from 3.07% to 4.49% while expanding the tax forgiveness levels for lower and middle income Pennsylvanians. A later proposal from the Governor suggested that no new taxes would need to be raised due to a significant budget surplus.
In June 2021, the legislature declined to adopt the Governor’s proposal, extending Pennsylvania’s deeply inequitable funding for an additional year.
You can read our statement on the 2021-2022 education budget below.
While there were multiple proposed bills in the House and Senate, the current legislation session is ending and these proposed bills will need to be resurrected or new ones created to address the issue.