Basic Education Funding Commission releases report
The fundamental key to school funding is student learning: enough resources and fairness, which means providing every child a chance to learn and meet state standards. The key to fixing school funding is having a rational way to drive out funding and fixing what is inequitable now. We are very glad both aspects of this were acknowledged by the Commission members in the release of the report.
The Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC) has started us on the road to fixing school funding by providing a framework for rational ways to deal with student and district characteristics. However, there is much to be done to ensure that funding is allocated at levels sufficient to meet the learning needs of every student. The General Assembly is going to have to step up and make a commitment this year, and in future years, to support the good efforts of their colleagues on the Commission and invest in education in a way that provides every child in every community with a fair shot.
We need to deal with what is unfair now, as well as how to move forward fairly. A formula is only as good as the funding it drives out.
The Commission did an incredible job at gathering information and feedback on school funding issues that districts face, including poverty, local tax base, ELL students and more, and coming up with reasonable ways to weight the funding. We still need to deal with the fact that we are starting with an inequitable base, but that is the next step. We thank the Commission for its dedication and thoughtfulness, and cooperation, and hope their colleagues honor their good work. If the rest of the legislature works in this manner, we could solve this problem.
Education Voters of Pennsylvania is a non-profit policy and advocacy organization, dedicated to supporting policies that strengthen and support great public schools in every community.