Siegel votes for changes to Pa. school system funding

HARRISBURG, June 11 – State Rep. Josh Siegel said the House passed legislation that would work toward making Pennsylvania’s public education funding system constitutional.

“Pennsylvania’s inequitable education funding problem was addressed Monday with a historic investment in our children and communities,” said Siegel. “I was proud to vote on a monumental plan that would address our funding formula that has been unfair to both our students and our taxpayers, especially our senior citizens. Pennsylvania can no longer fail its students and teachers; education is the foundation of our society and democracy. This decision was one of the most important we as a legislature can make.”

In January, the Basic Education Funding Commission noted a series of recommendations as part of its report to the General Assembly. Locally, state Sen. Nick Miller and Rep. Pete Schweyer, chair of the House Education Committee, were members of the commission and played key roles in the development of the report adopted by the majority.

“For far too long, schools in districts with higher populations and lower property values have been short changed, while cyber charter schools used their funding to buy property and spend tens of millions of your hard-earned tax dollars on advertising,” said Siegel.

Siegel said the legislation would provide more funding to his community with a $973,972 increase and savings from last year for Salisbury Township School District and a $41.5 million increase and savings for Allentown City School District.

“We voted to restore sanity and fairness to our education funding system, and passed a plan that would level the playing field and invest in the next generations of all Pennsylvanians,” said Siegel.

Additionally, a $728 million increase from last year would be provided statewide for chronically underfunded schools.

House Bill 2370 now goes to the state Senate for consideration.