Anne (netmouse) wrote,

Not just Fair and Equitable, but also fiscally responsible.

I haven't made a big deal out of it, but the PA Post recently picked up a question I submitted to their "Listening Post" segment. Reporter Ed Mahon spent some time researching whether or not it would be legal for school districts to go ahead and redistribute funds from the state on their own, rather than wait for the Legislature to force them to do it.

The report is here: Could Pa. school districts change funding themselves? A substitute teacher wanted to know

Sadly, one person he referenced about that actual question came back with nothing stronger than "I don't know," whereas my own investigation concluded it is not illegal for school districts to redistribute state educational funding to other school districts.

Sadly, Ed failed to capture one thrust of my argument, which is that, given that many people are trying to pass existing legislation that would apply the Fair Funding formula to all 500 PA school districts, I think it would only be prudent for the districts that are currently deemed "overfunded" accordnig to that formula to go ahead and increase their school property tax millage to go ahead and make up the difference. That way their schools will not suffer a gap in funding.

Then</a>, once they have ensured that alternate source of funds, they can go ahead and start funneling funds to one or more of the chronically underfunded districts, as identified by the "fair funding" formula, which everyone agreed was fair back in 2016, but which is so far only being applied to "new" educational funding from the state, so only some 11 percent or so of state educational funding is disbursed fairly and equitably at the moment.

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Tags: education

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