STROUDSBURG SCHOOL BOARD PASSES RESOLUTION SEEKING FAIR FUNDING FOR All BASIC EDUCATION FUNDING
For Immediate Release: June 22, 2016
(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) – Equity First reports, The Board of School Directors of the Stroudsburg Area School District recently voted to adopt a resolution to clarify intent of what the Pennsylvania School Board Association (“PSBA”) deems “fair funding”.
The PSBA’s Core Legislative Principles and supporting concepts outlines in its ‘Funding Formula’ section that “Pennsylvania must develop and maintain a system of public school financing that emphasizes a sharing of costs between the commonwealth and local school districts, recognizing that the state must provide the majority of funding for public education. State aid for school districts should be established through a funding formula that is equitable, adequate, comprehensive and consistent.” The Stroudsburg Area School District Board of School Directors is asking PSBA to support the distribution of all Basic Education Funding in alignment with the new Basic Education Funding formula adopted into law through House Bill 1552. The Board unanimously passed the resolution and formally sent to the PSBA Platform Committee. Receipt of the resolution has been acknowledged by PSBA. The Stroudsburg School Board now must work to get it before the PSBA’s Delegate Assembly.
Why is this important?
The Board Resolution explains, a fair funding formula that only applies to new funding is neither,
“equitable, adequate, comprehensive [nor] consistent. It is a solution without an effect. It is politically unrealistic to expect to establish fair education funding using only new money. The prospects, frequency or amounts of new funding are neither guaranteed nor predictable. In the meantime, many school districts are being shorted millions of dollars, which the Fair Funding Commission specified that they should be receiving under the formula.”
As Equity First has reported since February 2016, if the new Basic Education Funding formula only applies to new annual state budget allocations for Basic Education distributed through the new Basic Education formula, then Stroudsburg and other school districts not receiving their allocation specified by the new formula, are and will remain severely underfunded for another 25 years.
In summary, if the formula adopted by the Basic Education Funding Commission and passed into law as House Bill 1552 was applied to all Basic Education Funding as suggested by the Stroudsburg School Board Resolution, then Stroudsburg Area School District would receive an additional $6.6 million in annual Basic Education Funding.
According to a study completed by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, all four school districts in Monroe County are in the top five for percentage of personal income consumed by school property taxes; Stroudsburg Area School District ranks number three at 6.05 percent against a state and national average under 1%. The study concluded, taxpayers in Stroudsburg School District have a staggering 6.05% of their personal income consumed by school property taxes. Alternately, taxpayers in 136 school districts only see 1% or less of their personal income consumed by school property taxes.
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