State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The State House Sound Bites Podcast is now called State of the State and is a part of PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization to hold Pennsylvania’s government accountable to its citizens.

Advocates want a permanent education funding formula

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | May 2, 2016 3:17 PM

Photo by Ben Allen/witf

Ana Ramos Hernandez, a parent with children at the Independence Charter School in Philadelphia, speaks at a rally at the Capitol in favor of making the newer education funding formula permanent.

The state's been distributing some money for public schools a bit differently for almost a year now.

Advocates say more funding should be allocated this way going forward, as they see it as a way to bring more equality to basic education.

$150 million was pushed through the newer funding formula this fiscal year.

Advocates say an additional $400 million should follow the same route next year, and the formula should become permanent.

It's meant to send more money to rural and poorer districts, using factors like the poverty level, the percentage of students who aren't fluent in English, and the amount of taxable land in a district.

Joan Benso with the Campaign for Fair Education Funding says they want to create an even playing field.

"Every school district, every school district, regardless of their local community wealth, should have adequate resources to ensure that their children can achieve to our standards," says Benso.

Benso would like to see future increases in education funding go through the formula as well.

"It hurts my heart knowing that our children in the urban areas will not, and do not and have not received the same funding that other children have received," says April Payne, a parent of students in the Pittsburgh Public School District.

Members of both parties have supported the funding formula, but it has not been made permanent.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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