The proposed 2014-15 budget provides no increase in the basic education subsidy line, leaving that allocation at $5.5 billion. Instead, the plan adds $251 million in other new classroom funding, which is still $430 million below 2010-11.
In 2013-14, Pennsylvania’s public schools enrolled 1,750,059 students in grades Pre-K through 12 across the state’s 500 school districts. Of these students, 92.6% are enrolled in district-run schools and 7.4% attend charter schools.
Six school districts, seven parents, the Pennsylvania NAACP and the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools filed suit on Nov. 10 against state officials, alleging they are using an irrational means of financing public education that underfunds school districts and denies students in low-income areas equal educational opportunities.
The final budget includes $5,526,129,000 in Basic Education funding for 2014-15, which is the same as the 2013-14 appropriation. Funding for Special Education is increased, with funding to be allocated according to a new formula, and the Ready to Learn block grant was established.
The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC), however well-intentioned, divert desperately needed funds from Philadelphia public schools ("Scholarships offer lifeline to Pa. students," Oct. 10).
This webinar takes a look at the report, "Reform, Not Repeal: Pennsylvania Can Provide Property Tax Relief and Protect Public Schools," which finds that property taxes are moderate in most Pennsylvania communities, and recommends that the state should better target its property tax relief and overhaul its assessment system rather than eliminate the local property taxes that fund our children’s schools and prepare our future workforce.
Property taxes are high in some Pennsylvania school districts, but PBPC’s new report, "Reform, Not Repeal: Pennsylvania Can Provide Property Tax Relief and Protect Public Schools," reveals that compared to the national average and neighboring states, property taxes are moderate in most communities.