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.
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.
Pennsylvania’s reduced funding of higher education in recent years has led to steep tuition hikes at its public four-year colleges, hefty average student debt and a small share of residents with education beyond high school compared to other states, a new report released today by the Keystone Research Center and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center found. To reverse these trends, Pennsylvania should restore $90 million in cuts to state-owned universities and $20 million to community colleges, and freeze their tuitions for four years, A Must-Have for Pennsylvania Part II: Investment in Higher Education for Growth and Opportunity recommends.
Pennsylvania enacted deep cuts to funding for public higher education since 2010-11. Even before these cuts, Pennsylvania ranked low among states in funding for higher education and in the affordability of public higher education. This report summarizes key insights from the economic research literature on the importance of higher education and presents basic information on Pennsylvania’s investment in higher education.
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.
Pennsylvania 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, a report released today by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center concluded.
Several American cities have raised cigarette taxes as a public health measure and to generate local revenue for cash-strapped programs. These taxes are not as regressive as once assumed and can be an important part of a local funding package. Philadelphia has requested authorization from the General Assembly to add a $2 per pack tax on cigarettes sold in the city to raise an estimated $70-$90 million for its public schools.