How Much Would Your School District Receive in Gov. Wolf’s Proposal?

Recently, Governor Wolf gave his budget address and proposed the following increases in K-12 funding in the 2019-2020 state budget:
  • $10 million for career and technical education funding
  • $50 million for special education funding
  • $168 million for Basic Education Funding that will be distributed to school districts through the formula*
  • $45 million in grant funding for school safety
Pennsylvania ranks 46th in state share of funding for schools. It provides just 38% of what it costs to educate our K-12 students, while the national average is close to 50%. State funding for schools in Pennsylvania is so inadequate that the status quo of modest increases in recent years is not only unacceptable, it is unsustainable.
A recent report issued by the PA Association of School Administrators (PASA) and the PA Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) documents the staggering inadequacy of these recent state investments.
This report finds that from 2010-2011 to 2016-2017, mandated increases for school district pension, charter school tuition, and special education costs outstripped state funding increases for school districts by a whopping $2 billion.
This means that over the past seven years, school districts have made up this $2 billion shortfall in their budgets by increasing local property taxes; cutting teachers, programs, and services for students; delaying safety and maintenance projects in schools; or all of the above.
Shuttered schools, padlocked libraries, teacher furloughs, exploding class sizes, crumbling and unhealthy buildings, eliminated music and art programs, and other deep deprivations have become commonplace in public schools throughout Pennsylvania.
State funding in Pennsylvania is now so inadequate that even school safety and security are becoming a luxury. Many school districts are simply unable to raise enough funding through local property tax increases to pay for needed physical improvements and staffing.
A recent study completed by Temple University’s Center on Regional Politics, A Tale of Haves and Have Nots: The Financial Future of Pennsylvania’s School Districts, projects that without significant increases in state funding, within 5 years, 60% of PA school districts will be facing annual deficits totaling approximately $110 million.
These districts will face an annual ritual of raising taxes and making classroom cuts that will have no end in sight. Students in these districts will continue to be penalized simply because they live in a community that doesn’t have a tax base that is robust enough to support its local schools.
Click HERE to see how much additional Basic Education Funding your school district would receive in Governor Wolf’s proposal.
The good news is that we are at tthe beginningof the budget process in Harrisburg and will be working very hard with our allies to secure the funding our schools need in 2019-2020 state budget. Stay tuned to learn how you can help!
*The total proposed increase for Basic Education Funding is $200 million. However, $13.8 million that will be used to boost base teacher salaries in districts where starting pay is lower than $45,000 and $18 million will be spent on special allocations to distressed school districts. This leaves $168 million left to be distributed through the Basic Education Funding formula to PA’s 500 school districts.
Click HERE to learn how much school districts would get to boost minimum pay for teachers.
*Special Thanks to Susan Spicka, Executive Director, Education Voters of PA for this information
BASD Proud Parents is strictly pro-public education. We are an independent group with no affiliations to the BASD school board or any political parties. Our goals are to help parents stay informed about educational policy discussions and to facilitate ways for any of us who would like the chance to have our voices heard, to get more involved in those policy conversations.