BLOG: Basic Education Fair Funding Formula Signed into Law (Round-up)

By: Eryn Spanger, Press Assistant

June 07, 2016

Last week, Governor Wolf signed House Bill 1552 in law, establishing a fair funding formula for Pennsylvania schools. Prior to the signing of the bill, Pennsylvania was one of only three states without a funding formula to establish the equal and fair distribution of state funds to schools. The Basic Education Funding (BEF) Formula was created and unanimously adopted by the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission in June 2015. When calculating and distributing state education funds, the formula accounts for district based factors, including wealth of the district, the district’s current tax effort, and the ability of the district to raise revenue.

“Following great work by the Basic Education Funding Commission, the commonwealth finally has a permanent formula for the distribution of basic education funding that takes into account each district’s unique needs,” said Governor Wolf.

Governor Wolf is seeking additional education funding in the 2016-17 budget, which would be distributed using the new BEF Formula. The 2015-16 budget included a $200 million increase in Basic Education Funding that will be distributed using the Fair Funding Formula.

“What the Basic Education Funding Commission did was important and while Pennsylvania is no longer one of the only states without a fair funding formula, our commonwealth’s schools remain the most inequitable in the nation,” Governor Wolf said. “The formula only works if we begin to give school districts additional funding to restore the unfairness in our school funding distribution. We saw bipartisan support for this new formula lead to its final passage and our students deserve the same effort towards finishing the job: balancing the budget, fixing the deficit and further investing in education at all levels.”

Take a look at the additional coverage below:
  • PennLive: New fair funding formula is step toward improving Pa.’s schools: Tom Wolf

    Prior to the signing of this bill, Pennsylvania was one of only three states in the nation without a fair funding formula…Having a formula in place will assure school districts that new funding will be distributed equitably and investments in education will no longer be determined by the influence of one legislator over another.

  • WITF: Wolf signs bill changing education funding formula

    [Governor] Wolf adds: “Let me just say this is a really great start for Pennsylvania in terms of its education. What we’re trying to get here is fairness, but also adequacy and both of those things are equally important in Pennsylvania. And I think with the fair funding formula with the fair funding commission, we’ve addressed the issue of fairness.”

  • PLS Reporter: Fair Funding Formula finally law in Pennsylvania

    “Prior to today, Pennsylvania was one of only three states in the nation without a fair funding formula,” said Gov. Wolf. “Following great work by the Basic Education Funding Commission, the commonwealth finally has a permanent formula for the distribution of basic education funding that takes into account each district’s unique needs.”

  • TribLive: Pennsylvania adopts new education funding formula

    “We still have a lot of work to do in order to restore funding, but we are now closer to resolving the inequity in Pennsylvania’s school funding distribution,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement…The “Fair Funding Formula” was initially proposed in June 2015 by the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission, a 15-member board that included lawmakers and members of Wolf’s administration. The commission took more than a year to come up with the proposed plan. The bill passed in the state legislature last week and officially became law with Wolf’s signature Thursday.

  • The Morning Call: Gov. Tom Wolf signs new school funding formula into law

    “House Bill 1552 is a fair funding formula that takes into account each school district’s unique needs,” Wolf said. “So this is a really big day to celebrate.”… The new system weans districts off the hold harmless clause and bases the new spending on student population and various socioeconomic and tax factors pertinent to individual districts.

  • Daily Times: Guv inks new schools funding formula; Chester Upland gets $12M boost

    “What the Basic Education Funding Commission did was important, and while Pennsylvania is no longer one of the only states without a fair funding formula, our commonwealth’s schools remain the most inequitable in the nation,” said Wolf in a release. “The formula only works if we begin to give school districts additional funding to restore the unfairness in our school funding distribution.”

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