Bill would use horse racing dollars to equalize school funding

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Feb 15, 2014 6:18 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A Republican state lawmaker wants to tap the commonwealth’s Race Horse Development Fund to help ease the local property tax burden in more than 200 school districts.

Representative Todd Stephens of Montgomery County wants to use 250 million slots-funded horse racing dollars to address what he calls a huge disparity in educational funding.

"Some districts receive as little as 10 percent of their total funding from the state, while others are receiving 78 percent of their funding from the state."

Stephens' bill would direct supplemental appropriations to each school district that receives less than 35 percent of its funding from the state.

Across the midstate that includes districts like York Suburban, Conestoga Valley and Susquehanna Township, which receive between 13 and 18 percent of their funding from the Commonwealth.

Districts like Lancaster, Harrisburg and York City would not be in line for any additional funds, because they receive between 42 and 59 percent of their funding from the state.

The Race Horse Development Fund is expected to end the year with a balance of $532 million.

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