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 his budget address today, Governor Tom Corbett cited expiring federal recovery dollars as the cause of nearly $1 billion in education cuts made in 2011, but half of those cuts were made to state, not federal, funds.
The Pennsylvania Constitution requires the state to provide a “thorough and efficient system of education,” yet cuts in state funding and the abandonment of an equitable school funding formula have undermined that principle.
A group of Philadelphia education advocates issued a year-end report card to Philadelphia City Council and the Pennsylvania General Assembly on their work to fully fund the Philadelphia public schools.
Efforts to reform property taxes in Pennsylvania have heated up in recent months, but the four major proposals currently before the General Assembly do not address the primary issue — that too few state dollars are used to support public schools.
"Research is clear that student performance improves with smaller class sizes, rigorous programs, and qualified teachers," Sharon Ward writes. "Yet since 2011 Pennsylvania has done the opposite, enacting cuts that have increased class sizes, eliminated enrichment programs, and taken tens of thousands of teachers, guidance counselors, and aides out of the classroom."
The future of Pennsylvania schools — and the quality of education every child receives — is at stake in the debate over property tax elimination in Harrisburg. Watch our short whiteboard video to learn more and then share it with your friends.