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Press Release

NEW REPORT: ‘School Funding in PA Remains Inadequate and Inequitable’ 

By June 27, 2024No Comments

June 27, 2024

 

CONTACT: Kirstin Snow, snow@pennpolicy.org  

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

 

NEW REPORT: School Funding in PA Remains Inadequate and Inequitable 

 

Harrisburg, PAToday the Pennsylvania Policy Center released a new paper, “School Funding in PA Remains Inadequate and Inequitable,” by executive director Marc Stier. The paper highlights the need for proper education spending allowances in the 202425 state budget as mandated in the Commonwealth Court ruling on the matter.  

 

As the budget deadline looms, this report brings into clearer focus the incredible injustice of Pennsylvania’s school funding,” Stier said. He added, “The most recent data on the distribution of funding among our school districts reaffirms the central conclusion of the school funding lawsuit, as well as decades of analysis: A pattern of funding in which school districts with a high share of students living in poverty or who are Black or Hispanic are the worst off is a clear affront to our state’s constitution and to the promise of equality of opportunity that has long been the touchstone of our state and country. It is also offensive to human decency and morality. The time to fix this problem is now. 

 

BACKGROUND: Year after year, Pennsylvania Policy Center, our predecessor organization (PBPC) and many others have released research showing both that the vast majority of Pennsylvania K-12 school districts are underfunded and that school districts with a high share of students who come from impoverished families or are Black or Hispanic are disproportionately among them. 

 

That analysis was accepted by Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer who ruled that Pennsylvania’s system of K-12 school funding is unconstitutional. 

 

And yet, with less than a week to go before the fiscal year 2024–25 budget is due, there are still members of the General Assembly who refuse to accept these basic facts. 

 

So here we put forward our most recent update of the data we have provided in the past: estimates of the per-student funding gap in Pennsylvania’s five hundred K-12 school districts divided based on the share of students who live in poverty or who are Black or HispanicRead the report here.  

 

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