BLOG: Kudos To Pennsylvania’s Top High Schools
By: Sarah Galbally, Secretary of Policy & Planning
May 05, 2016
You may have already seen U.S. News and World Report’s Top 30 Public High Schools in Pennsylvania, and those schools deserve a great deal of recognition for their accomplishments in helping students achieve the very best possible academic outcomes.
At the same time, this list also reminds us that Pennsylvania’s education system is the most inequitable in the country. Right now, a child’s zip code alone dictates the quality of his or her education — and that is simply unacceptable.
The commonwealth is one of only three states without a school funding formula. Pennsylvania’s school districts, on average, receive just 35 percent of their funding from state dollars — which leads to soaring property taxes at the local level.
Further, the $1 billion in cuts made under the previous administration have been detrimental to students in all 500 districts — but especially those in low-income areas. Governor Wolf is working to turn this around.
In his 2016-17 budget, the governor has proposed a $200 million increase to basic education funding, along with a $50 million increase to special education, and a $60 million increase to early childhood education. He has also outlined a charter school reform plan that will save $180 million for school districts across the commonwealth over the next three years by adjusting charter school reimbursements to better reflect actual costs of educating students with special needs. His budget also calls for a new funding formula for cyber charter schools, which are fundamentally different than brick-and-mortar charter schools. This will save $50 million annually for Pennsylvania school districts.
As Governor Wolf has said time and again, all Pennsylvanians benefit when our children, from Erie to York to Philadelphia, have equal access to a high-quality education. He looks forward to building on a bipartisan budget agreement that will increase school funding in order to finally take on the status quo and give our students the resources they need to succeed.
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