AN ACT

 

 

1Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
2act relating to the public school system, including certain
3provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
4schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
5laws relating thereto," providing for basic education funding
6commission.

7The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
8hereby enacts as follows:

9Section 1. The act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known
10as the Public School Code of 1949, is amended by adding a
11section to read:

12Section 123.  Basic Education Funding Commission.--(a) There
13is hereby established a Basic Education Funding Commission.

14(b)  The commission shall review and make recommendations
15related to basic education funding as provided in this section.

16(c)  (1)  The commission shall consist of the following

1members:

2(i)  The chair and minority chair of the Education Committee
3of the Senate and the chair and minority chair of the Education
4Committee of the House of Representatives or their designees.

5(ii)  Two (2) legislators from each of the four (4)
6legislative caucuses, to be appointed by the President pro
7tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
8Representatives, in consultation with the Majority Leader and
9Minority Leader of the Senate and the Majority Leader and
10Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

11(iii)  The Secretary of Education or a designee.

12(iv)  The Deputy Secretary for Elementary and Secondary
13Education or a designee.

14(v) An individual appointed by the Governor from within the
15Governor's Administration.

16(2)  The commission shall appoint a member to serve as chair
17of the commission.

18(d)  The commission shall hold its first meeting within
19forty-five (45) days of the effective date of this section,
20regardless of whether the Governor or all legislative caucuses
21have actually approved members to the commission.

22(e)  The commission shall hold meetings at the call of the
23chair.

24(f)  The members may not receive compensation for their
25services, but shall be reimbursed for all necessary travel and
26other reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the
27performance of their duties as members of the commission.

28(g)  The General Assembly shall provide administrative
29support, meeting space and any other assistance required by the
30commission to carry out its duties under this section in

1cooperation with the department. The department shall provide
2the commission with data, research and other information upon
3request by the commission.

4(h)  The commission shall develop a basic education funding
5formula and identify factors that may be used to determine the
6distribution of basic education funding among the school
7districts in this Commonwealth. The factors identified under
8this subsection may include all of the following:

9(1)  The market value/personal income aid ratio averaged for
10each of the three (3) most recent years for each school
11district.

12(2)  The equalized millage rate averaged for each of the
13three (3) most recent years for each school district.

14(3)  Geographic price differences identified for each school
15district.

16(4)  Whether a school district has experienced exceptionally
17high enrollment growth.

18(5)  Whether a school district has an exceptionally high
19level of local support.

20(6) Whether a school district has a high level of its
21students in poverty as identified as eligible for free or
22reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program.

23(7) Whether a school district has students identified as
24limited English proficient.

25(8) Whether the district has a scarce or dense population in
26relation to the district size.

27(9)  Other factors related to the distribution of basic
28education funding.

29(i)  The commission shall have all of the following powers
30and duties:

1(1)  Review and make findings and recommendations related to
2basic education funding in this Commonwealth.

3(2)  Consult with and utilize experts to assist the
4commission in carrying out the duties under this subsection.

5(3)  Receive input from interested parties, including, but
6not limited to, school districts and charter and cyber charter
7school operators.

8(4)  Hold public hearings in different regions of this
9Commonwealth.

10(5)  Review and consider basic education funding formulas and
11factors utilized throughout the United States.

12(6)  In identifying the basic education funding factors under
13subsection (h) and in completing the report required under this
14subsection, consider the impact these factors may have on the
15distribution of basic education funding among the school
16districts.

17(7)  Review the administration of State and regional basic
18education programs and services to determine if cost savings may
19be achieved and make recommendations to implement the savings.

20(8) Prior to recommending a basic education funding formula
21under this section, consider the potential consequences of a
22basic education funding formula that does not allocate to each
23school district at least the same level or proportion of State
24basic education funding as the school district received in the
25prior school year.

26(9)  Prior to recommending a basic education funding formula
27under this section, consider nationally accepted accounting and
28budgeting standards.

29(10) Develop a proposed basic education funding formula and
30factors pursuant to subsection (h).

1(11)  Draft proposed regulations and proposed legislation
2based on the commission's findings.

3(12)  Issue a report of the commission's findings and
4recommendations to the Governor, the President pro tempore of
5the Senate, the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the
6Senate, the Education Committee of the Senate, the Speaker of
7the House of Representatives, the Majority Leader and Minority
8Leader of the House of Representatives, the Education Committee
9of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of Education and
10the State Board of Education not later than one year after the
11effective date of this section.

12(j)  The basic education formula developed by the commission
13shall not go into effect unless the formula is approved by an
14act of the General Assembly enacted after the effective date of
15this section.

16(k)  Every five (5) years the commission shall be
17reconstituted in accordance with subsection (c) and shall meet
18and hold public hearings to review the operation of the basic
19education funding provisions of this section, shall make a
20further report and shall issue the report to the recipients
21listed in subsection (i)(11). <-When in receipt of a further
22report recommending changes to the basic education funding
23formula, the General Assembly shall consider and take action to
24enact the formula into law in accordance with subsection (j).

25(l)  The General Assembly shall, through the annual
26appropriations process, determine the level of State funding for
27basic education.

28(m)  As used in this section, the following words and phrases
29shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless
30the context clearly indicates otherwise:

1"Commission."  The Basic Education Funding Commission
2established under this section.

3"Department."  The Department of Education of the
4Commonwealth.

5Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

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