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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: June 7, 2021 11:11 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Accelerating Full and Fair Funding for our Public Schools
Presently, due in large part to population and demographic shifts, school districts across the state are funded at levels that do not match their respective needs. The vast majority of Pennsylvania’s poorest students are enrolled in school districts that are woefully underfunded. Despite the unanimous agreement by the members of the Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC) in 2015, currently only about 11 percent of 2020-21 state basic education funds are distributed to schools through the new fair funding method. In deference to the wisdom enshrined in our state constitution to require our public education system “to serve the needs of the Commonwealth,” we must affirm the unanimous, bipartisan recommendation of BEFC by not only establishing, but also fully utilizing, a fair funding formula toward this end.
To truly fulfill this constitutional mandate, I believe we need to look at this situation in a new light and recognize that we need to make significant investments to increase our state share of education funding to bring true fairness to public school funding. As such, I am introducing a bill package to ensure adequacy (that sufficient resources are being committed to assure success for all students) with equity (that funds are distributed so that everyone has the opportunity to succeed).

Under this package, every school district – small and large, urban and rural, growing and shrinking – would receive the resources they need.

Please join me in working to provide our schools with full funding that is truly fair by being both adequate and equitable.

Document #1

  • My first bill  (formerly HB961) would require that 100 percent of state funds are distributed through the fair funding formula effective immediately, acknowledging that our most underfunded school districts need significantly more funding to ensure that they have enough resources to educate their students.

Document #2

  • My second bill would expand on the duties of the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC) to ensure that the commission also consider ways to provide for school funding that is adequate, equitable, and fair, as well as make recommendations for ways we can provide increased funding for Pennsylvania’s schools, to be reflected in their upcoming 2022 study.