The new school year has brought a welcome change in the way the commonwealth funds schools, thanks to the passage of Act 35 which established a fair funding formula for the 500 districts in the state. This year, there is an additional $352 million in basic education funding available in the budget, thanks to the persistence of a pro-education governor, legislators, and advocates.
Funds will be distributed in two ways: Schools will collect the same base amount they received last year, with additional funding distributed according to other student and district-based factors. These considerations include local tax revenue capacity, size and density of the student population, and the student poverty rate.
Additionally, there will be continual implementation of the funding formula in upcoming years.
We think this is a good beginning but believe there is still much more to be done to restore the $1 billion in cuts that occurred during the last administration. We want to hire back teachers and support professionals, reestablish classes that were cut, reduce class sizes, and ensure we have the resources needed to provide a great 21st century education for all students in our region.
Our legislators need to hear from you, their constituents, about what’s important. Share your point of view with them.