Education Funding Formula

Pennsylvania is one of only three states that create a budget without using a statewide education funding formula, according to the Education Law Center. The end result is increased taxes on already cash-strapped municipalities.

The governor signed a bill into law in June 2014 that requires the creation of a basic funding formula commission to help provide better funding to schools across Pennsylvania. As a result of Act 51, a 15-member bipartisan, bicameral commission, including Rep. James Roebuck of the Philadelphia Delegation, is tasked with developing a formula to determine how much individual school districts will receive in state funding.

The commission is holding hearings throughout the Commonwealth, getting input from advocates and education experts to create a formula to fund education. The new formula will take into account relative wealth, local tax effort, geographic price differences, enrollment levels, local support as well as other factors.

By June 2015, members of the commission are expected to appear before the General Assembly with a recommendation of a formula for how the state will fund its K-12 schools. The recommendations of the commission will not go into effect, however, without legislative approval by the General Assembly and the signature of the governor.