A History of School Funding in Pennsylvania

excerpt from “The Bottom Line Is Children: Public Education In Montgomery County,” Nov. 2013, a 9-page downloadable report by Public Citizens for Children and Youth.

The General Assembly called for an independent study to determine the actual cost of educating students in the commonwealth with a focus on adequacy and equity.

The Costing Out Study found that Pennsylvania was underfunding education by $4 billion annually, and that 94% of districts had inadequate resources to meet state standards. The report also found that the state relied too heavily on local property taxes to fund education, thus perpetuating the gap between resources available to rich and poor school districts.

The Study was used to develop:

1) Adequacy target, or the amount of funding districts would need to meet state standards.

2) Student and District Weights, or additional funding that reflected the real cost of educating students.

• For small districts
• For districts with high local cost of living
• English Language Learners
• Students in poverty

Three years of state funding increases distributed to school districts via the formula.

$1 billion cut made to state aid for public education.

Cuts to public education locked in with level funding.


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