(Jul 11) Pennsylvania adopts a new formula to fund schools

By Lucas Rodgers
Daily Local News (Chester County)

Last year Pennsylvania had the highest public school funding gap in the country between rich school districts and poor school districts, according to data from the United States Department of Education.

However, the recent passage of House Bill 1552 is part of an effort toward closing that funding gap.

Pennsylvania’s Basic Education Funding Commission, a bipartisan group of state senators and representatives, recommended in June 2015 that the General Assembly adopt a new “fair funding formula,” known as the Basic Education Funding (BEF) formula for distributing state funding to the 500 school districts in the commonwealth.

The General Assembly passed HB1552 with overwhelming bipartisan support: the Senate voted 49-1 in favor of the bill on May 18, and the House voted 188-3 to pass the bill on May 25. The bill amends the Public School Code of 1949 to establish “student-weighted basic education funding.” Gov. Tom Wolf signed HB1552 – now Act 35 – into law on June 2, making BEF the official formula for distributing state funds to school districts. The new formula is intended to provide sufficient, predictable and equitable funding for all school districts across the state.

Full story: Pennsylvania adopts a new formula to fund schools, by Lucas Rodgers, Daily Local News, 06/11/16

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