Pa. governor pushes for changes to school funding

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WKBN) – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf talked about fairness in funding for schools across the state Tuesday.

Wolf said the formula for most school funding has not changed for a generation, despite shifts in population. The governor said that means growing school districts are not getting the funding they need.

“School funding in Pennsylvania is still based on enrollment from 30 years ago and hasn’t been updated in a generation,” said Gov. Wolf. “This unfair school funding system is failing students, teachers, and communities, and that’s unacceptable. We need to fix the mistakes of the past and make a comprehensive investment in education funding that actually works.”

The state’s process for funding schools is based on student enrollment in 1992, without considering changes in student counts or current school district costs today. That forces growing school districts across urban, suburban and rural communities to make up for underfunding from the state by raising property taxes, increasing the burden on homeowners and businesses, Wolf says.

The bi-partisan fair funding formula signed by Gov. Wolf in 2016 only applies to new funding. Last year, only 11 percent, or $700 million, of state funding ran through it. The remaining 89 percent, or $5.5 billion, is disbursed using the previous system.

Wolf wants all school funding to be run through the Fair Funding formula that governs new school investments

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