Education Funding in the 2014-15 Budget

Basic Education Funding: The final budget includes $5,526,129,000 in funding for 2014-15, which is the same as the 2013-14 appropriation. Each school district receives the same amount it received in 2013-14.

Special Education Funding: The final budget increases special education funding by $20 million over 2013-14 to $1,046,815,000. New funding is allocated using a formula adopted in Act 126 of 2014, which is based in part on the recommendations of the Special Education Funding Commission, and takes into consideration student needs.

The Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials has a good overview of the new formula and how it is implemented.

Ready to Learn Block Grant: The final budget create a new Ready to Learn Block grant to replace the Accountability Block grant program and adds $100 million in new funding. For 2014-15 districts receive the same amount for the Accountability Block grant as in 20130-14. The additional $100 million is allocated to school districts and directly to charter schools through a new Ready to Learn formula.

The Ready to Learn formula includes three factors: student enrollment/ aid ratio factor, a poverty factor, and an English language learner factor.

The formula is $231 x (ADM x aid ratio) + $34.65 x (LEP count x aid ratio) + $57.75 x (economic disadvantage count x aid ratio)