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06/25/2024 12:42 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=42661&link_id=3&can_id=2ea6935cb86bf0a720b5d8ba9210181c&source=email-it-was-a-big-week&email_referrer=&email_subject=icymi-it-was-a-big-week
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 7, 2024 04:06 PM
From: Representative P. Michael Sturla and Rep. Peter Schweyer, Rep. MaryLouise Isaacson, Rep. Joanna E. McClinton, Rep. Matthew D. Bradford, Rep. Jordan A. Harris, Rep. Dan L. Miller, Rep. Tina M. Davis, Rep. Michael H. Schlossberg, Rep. Leanne Krueger, Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro
To: All House members
Subject: A Thorough and Efficient System of Public Education
 
Pennsylvania’s public education funding system is unconstitutional. It is our constitutional duty to fix it.

The Court ruled that the ‘thorough and efficient’ clause in our state Constitution “requires that every student receive a meaningful opportunity to succeed academically, socially, and civically, which requires that all students have access to a comprehensive, effective, and contemporary system of public education.”

Unfortunately, as the Court ruling summarized, Pennsylvania’s overreliance on local property taxes results in low-wealth school districts never being able to provide adequate funding for staffing, courses, curricula, and facilities. The state must step up and provide adequate funding in a way that makes Pennsylvania’s constitutional promise a reality for all students.  

This legislation reflects the formula recommendations in the reconstituted Basic Education Funding Commission’s majority report. Governor Shapiro’s proposed 2024/25 budget put us on the path with the call for a historic $1.1 billion increase in basic education funding. This legislation is the next step on that path and contains three major components:

Increases the stability and predictability in PA’s current fair funding formula.
  • With Governor Shapiro’s proposed $1.1 billion investment, $200 million would be distributed through the fair funding formula benefiting all 500 school districts.
Determines an adequate spending target for each school district and commits to paying down the adequacy gap over a period of seven years.

  • Statewide, the state is responsible for a $5.1 billion adequacy gap across 371 school districts
  • Closing this gap over a 7-year period requires a $735 million adequacy investment each year
  • School districts are required to spend these funds on programs that are proven to improve student success.
Provides tax equity payments for the school districts with the highest tax burdens relative to their local resources.

  • This funding ($1 billion over seven years) will help 169 school districts provide property tax relief or mitigate future increases
The attached spreadsheet has the 2024/25 estimates and the 7-year adequacy and equity gaps by school district from the Basic Education Funding Commission’s majority report.

Finally, this legislation will include cyber charter school funding reforms that will provide several hundred million dollars in savings to school districts.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation for the benefit of students, teachers, and communities all across our commonwealth.




 

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Introduced as HB2370