STATEMENT: PSBA calls proposed school funding formula great step forward

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) applauds the work of the Basic Education Funding Commission and says the proposed formula developed by the group over the past year is a great step forward to adequate, equitable and fair school funding in Pennsylvania. The commonwealth is currently one of only three states in the nation without a funding formula for public education.

“The time is now for a bipartisan effort to move the funding formula across the final finish line and pass legislation putting it into place,” said PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains. “A formula will go a long way to help school entities develop their annual budgets. Additionally, a formula will help with the equitable distribution of school funding to alleviate the current disparities in how state dollars are allocated.”

The proposed formula has many of the elements PSBA has advocated for, including basic elements of counting students consistently; student weights taking into consideration poverty and English Language Learners; district weights taking into consideration sparsity of student populations, local tax efforts, and local cost adjustments (see PSBA’s special report, “The Need for a New Basic Education Funding Formula”).

PSBA and other education groups have long advocated for a predictable and sustainable method of providing state funding for public schools. By implementing the proposed formula school districts will have a greater degree of certainty on funding allowing them to plan more accurately for the upcoming school year’s budget.

“Of course in order for a formula to work best, the state must continue to value the importance of investing in our schools and children by properly funding public education,” said Mains. “We look forward to working with the General Assembly and Governor’s Office in the days ahead on this issue.”

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CONTACT:  Steve Robinson, Sr. Director of Communications
(O) 717-506-2450 x-3315, steve.robinson@psba.org