If #BlackLivesMatter: Why Does Pennsylvania Have the Most Racist School Funding in the Nation and They Repeatedly Refuse to Fix It

After Five (5) Years of No Action, it’s Time for Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania General Assembly to Invest $1.22 Billion in Emergency Funding to bring the 138 Underfunded School Districts to their Baseline Funding Level

Harrisburg, PA – The nation’s first public protest of slavery occurred in Pennsylvania in 1688. In 1835, Thaddeus Stevens led passage of the Free Education Bill.   Since Pennsylvania’s founding, it has been a leader among nations.   But Pennsylvania didn’t enact school funding formula laws until Act 126 of 2014 established the Special Education Funding formula law and Act 35 of 2016 established the Basic Education Funding formula law.   

  • Since enactment, Pennsylvania’s Special Education Funding Formula law remains unfunded. 
  • Since enactment, Pennsylvania’s Basic Education Funding Formula law remains unfunded.

The brutal truth: only $698,667,144 in Basic Education and $172,975,000 in Special Education are distributed through Pennsylvania Basic and Special Education Funding Formula laws. As a direct result, nearly 825,000 of the state’s poorest children attend severely underfunded school districts.

The brutal truth: 138 school districts are underfunded by $1.22 Billion in Basic and Special Education funding, while 14 school districts each, get $10 Million more than their baseline-funding.  

The brutal truth: Most of the severely overfunded school districts are 90% white.  The most severely underfunded school district are minority school districts.

The brutal truth: Dozens of state and national reports keep demonstrating Pennsylvania sustaining the worse, most inequitable, and racist K-12 education funding in the United States. 

Right now, there’s a lot being said about the past.  But today in 2020 Pennsylvania maintains one of the single-most racist school funding in America.

Support Equity First:

Established in 2016 to advocate the adoption and full funding of the Basic Education Funding Commission Report, the goals of Support-Equity-First remain: 

  1. Distribute 100% of Basic and Special Education funding through the enacted Basis and Special Education Funding Formula laws
  2. Establish independent K-12 Cost-Savings Commission
  3. Establish a School District Consolidation Fund to incent efficient consolidation of school districts
  4. Cap school district Fund Balance and Reserve Fund account balances at combined 18%

Summary: After 5-years of no-action, we support an immediate investment of $1.22 Billion solely and proportionately to the 138-underfunded school districts, that have been purposely and knowingly unfunded for decades.

For more information contact Equity First at Shelly@SupportEquityFirst.org or visit, www.SupportEquityFirst.org 

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