BLOG: PA Schools Lost Out This Year Due to Irresponsible GOP Budget

By: Jeff Sheridan, Press Secretary

April 12, 2016

Let’s set the record straight.

If Republicans in the legislature had supported Governor Wolf’s 2015-16 budget proposal — instead of continuing the status quo of underfunding schools and passing tax burdens on to local homeowners — nearly all of the commonwealth’s 500 districts would have received more state funding this year (over $202 million to be exact). You can view by district here (PDF).

For Republicans to push around their plan in comparison to the governor’s plan — comparing dollar amounts — they conveniently ignore the fact that their budget resulted in a net cut to our schools. They also fail to acknowledge the reality of the devastation they were complicit in causing five years ago when $1 billion was cut from education, disproportionately affecting the poorest school districts.

Many of those districts have not had their funding restored. In fact, the Republican plan would have taken money back that had already been allocated from some of the poorest districts.

The governor also has been pushing for a fair funding formula to end Pennsylvania’s inequitable distribution of education dollars — one of the most inequitable in the country. The new fair funding formula, which the governor begins to implement in this round of school funding distribution, cannot truly be fair unless the cuts are fully restored. Currently, only four percent of districts have seen their funding restored to 2010-11 levels and we are currently over $370 million short from getting all 500 districts to that point.

Governor Wolf remains hopeful that Republicans in the legislature will get to work on a 2016-17 budget that not only makes these schools whole again, but begins to truly invest in education at all levels.

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