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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: September 11, 2013 09:46 AM
From: Representative Bernie O'Neill
To: All House members
Subject: Proposed Legislation: Basic Education Funding Commission
I am preparing to introduce legislation that will address the current inequities in basic education funding across the Commonwealth by forming a legislative commission to review and make recommendations concerning basic education funding, including recommendations for the development of a new formula for the distribution of any future increase in basic education funding.

As you know, the General Assembly enacts a new basic education funding formula each year. For many years, the formula has allocated to each school district at least the same level of funding as the school district received in the prior year. However, this manner of distributing education funding fails to recognize the differing needs of school districts with increasing or decreasing enrollment levels.

My bill will establish a commission to review and make recommendations concerning basic education funding. The commission, which will consist of members of all four legislative caucuses and representatives of the Department of Education and the Office of the Budget, will develop and recommend a new basic education funding formula that takes into account each school district’s market value/personal income aid ratio, equalized millage rate, geographic price differences, enrollment levels, local support and other factors. The commission will hold hearings, receive input from school districts and charter operators, and generally operate in a similar manner to the Special Education Funding Commission that was established through Act 3 of 2013, which I authored. The basic education funding formula recommended by the commission following this process will determine only the distribution of any increase in basic education funding, and will take effect only if enacted by the General Assembly.

I hope you will join me as a co-sponsor of this legislation. If you have any questions please contact Connie McClure in my Harrisburg office at 717-705-7170 or by e-mailing cmcclure@pahousegop.com.

Thank you for your consideration of this legislation.

Introduced as HB1738