|Posted:||June 1, 2016 03:30 PM|
|From:||Representative David Parker and Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Basic Education Funding Equity|
|After a year of testimony, the 2014/15 bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission reviewed the distribution of $5.5 Billion in state Basic Education Funding and unanimously reported 180 school districts were underfunded by “approximately $1 billion” annually. This massive underfunding severely impacts over 600,000 schoolchildren, 80,000 educators & staff, millions of taxpayers, real estate values and JOBS.
With the Governor’s expected signature, HB1552 adopts the new Basic Education Funding formula (“new BEF formula”) and suggests the establishment of allocating all new Basic Education Funding through this new BEF formula. While pretty in prose; in practice HB1552 will systematically continue to underfund the most severely underfunded school districts in Pennsylvania for another 25 years, or longer.
18 school districts are annually underfunded by $10 million or more. 25 school districts receive 45% less than the new BEF formula establishes for their district, but with HB1552 these underfunded districts will remain underfunded for 25 years or more.
Accordingly, House Bill 2111 incorporates the BEF Commission recommendations and allocates 75% of all new Basic Education funding proportionately to underfunded school districts; and the remaining 25% of all new Basic Education funding to all 500 school districts through the new Basic Education Formula.
Under HB2111, no school district’s Basic Education Funding will be reduced below the 2014-15 base year level. Instead, to fix years of serious underfunding, HB2111 provides for special Equity First allocations to underfunded districts to bring them to parity.
Please join us in co-sponsoring HB2111 and help us get this important legislation into law. Call or email Rep. Dave Parker if you have any questions or concerns.
In the near future, we will also be circulating co-sponsorship Memorandum for companion legislation for the other recommendations of the BEF Commission:
Introduced as HB2111