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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 2, 2018 09:52 AM
From: Senator Bob Mensch
To: All Senate members
Subject: Establishing the Basic and Special Education Funding Equity Fund
 
Act 126 of 2014 established the Special Education Funding formula (“SEF formula”) and Act 35 of 2016 established the Basic Education Funding formula (“BEF formula”). The Governor’s proposed FY2018-2019 Budget proposes to increase special education funding by $20 million and basic education by $100 million distributed through the adopted funding formulas to all 500 school districts.

Presently, only $107,525,000 in special education funding and $538,700,000 in basic education funding is distributed through the new SEF and BEF formulas. As a direct result, significant funding shortfalls continue to exist for many school districts in basic and special education funding. If we continue to distribute new dollars as proposed in the Governor’s proposed FY2018-2019 state budget, to wit, through the formulas to all 500 districts, it will take more than 33-years to achieve funding equity.

This Senate Bill establishes the Basic and Special Education Funding Equity Fund.
Accordingly, this Senate Bill incorporates several recommendations from the Basic Education Funding Commission and allocates 75% of all new Basic Education funding proportionately to underfunded school districts only; and the remaining 25% of all new Basic Education funding to all 500 school districts through the Act 35 Basic Education Formula. Likewise, this Senate Bill incorporates several recommendations and observations from the Special Education Funding Commission and allocates 75% of all new Special Education funding proportionately to underfunded school districts only; and the remaining 25% of all new Special Education funding to all 500 school districts through the Act 126 Special Education Formula.

Under this Senate Bill every school district will receive an increase in Basic and Special Education Funding.

I ask that you please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. Please contact Mark Fetzko if you have any questions.