Compromise on funding formula fair to all school districts
POTTSTOWN – Reps. Tim Hennessey (R-North Coventry) and Tom Quigley (R-Royersford) jointly introduced House Bill 2595
, the Basic Education Funding Fairness bill, that will help better address disparities in basic education funding. The bill would ensure fairness to all school districts and bring increased funding to local schools more quickly than currently planned.
“The adoption of the Fair Funding Formula was a great first step, but more needs to be done to deliver real help to districts that need it while still protecting the quality of all of Pennsylvania’s schools. Our legislation does just that,” Quigley said. “This is a true compromise that is fair to everyone.”
The 2014-15 bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC) reviewed the distribution of the more than $5.5 billion in state Basic Education Funding and recommended a new distribution formula for all subsequent years.
“We know that more than one third of our school districts statewide lose money under the current formula,” Hennessey said. “This bill would accelerate the correction of that problem while still protecting all 500 school districts.”
This legislation incorporates the BEFC recommendations and beginning in the 2019-20 fiscal year, would allocate 75 percent of all new Basic Education Funding proportionately to the underfunded school districts; and the remaining 25 percent of all new Basic Education Funding to all 500 school districts through the student-weighted Basic Education Formula.
Under this legislation, no school district’s Basic Education Funding will be reduced below the 2014-15 base year level. Instead, to fix years of serious underfunding, this legislation provides for a higher proportion of the “new” money to be allocated to underfunded districts to bring them to parity.
“Our state needs to react urgently in regard to achieving full implementation of the new school funding formula,” added Quigley. “Many school districts are being underfunded and short-changed in our state as a result of the hold harmless provision.”
Representative Tom Quigley
146th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans