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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 8, 2022 10:08 AM
From: Senator Timothy P. Kearney
To: All Senate members
Subject: Level Up School Funding Supplement
A good education cultivates talents, empowers students, encourages citizenry, and develops the future workforce. With a good education, every child in Pennsylvania can lead a prosperous, fulfilling, and impactful life. But not every child in Pennsylvania has access to a good education due to the current inequitable school funding system.

All Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to high quality education regardless of their zip code. To move us closer to achieving this right, I will be introducing legislation to accelerate funding towards the most inequitably funded school districts through the Level Up funding initiative. First implemented in FY 2021-2022, Level Up supplemental funding drives funding to the 100 school districts with higher at-risk populations and lower tax bases, where the funding will be rolled into their BEF base going forward. Level Up will benefit 1.6M Pennsylvania households supporting approximately 109,000 of our children.

For FY2022-2023, I propose we increase Level Up funding to $300M. This would be a meaningful step forward towards more equitable school funding. Like increases to BEF, Level Up is anticipated to support outcomes such as safer and healthier learning environments, lower student-to-staff ratios, increased access to technology, expanded school nutrition programs, and/or upgraded instructional materials and professional development.

These resources and improvements will improve academic outcomes and create immeasurable intangible benefits for the students families and communities behind left behind today. When we bring up our least supported children, we build a stronger future for our workforce, our state economy, our neighborhoods and communities, and improve the potential of the commonwealth as a whole. Inequity in education hurts all of us, and the Level Up initiative will help rectify the lost potential caused by our current funding system.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1223