YORK DAILY RECORD: YORK CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT AMONG MOST UNDERFUNDED IN PENNSYLVANIA
Rick Lee, email@example.comPublished 4:27 p.m. ET May 15, 2018 | Updated 1:32 p.m. ET May 16, 2018
Watchdog group claims underfunding is discriminatory
York City School District is the most underfunded public school district in Pennsylvania in terms of money spent per student, according to EquityFirst, a watchdog group concerned with basic and special education funding in the commonwealth.
And, the city district ranks fourth overall in EquityFirst’s list of most underfunded Pennsylvania school districts.
EquityFirst based its findings on data collected from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s analysis of the governor’s proposed budget and the general assembly’s bipartisan distribution formulas for special education and basic education funding.
Of the organization’s just-released top 11 most underfunded/overfunded lists, EquityFirst co-founder Kelly Lewis said, “It’s the most egregious funding discrimination problem in the United States.”
York City School District by the numbers
- Current budget deficit — $51.7 million;
- Current enrollment — approximately 5,456;
- Student body — 44.3 percent Hispanic, 34.6 percent African-American and 12.7 percent white;
- 55 percent of students live in acute poverty;
- 25 percent are English as a second language students;
- 20 percent are receiving special education.
“It’s time for every single state representative, every state senator and Governor Wolf to search their souls and moral conscience to understand why each of them are not immediately fixing this moral wrong,” Lewis stated.
York City School District Supt. Eric Holmes said, regarding the group’s findings, “Our students do not need us to make excuses for them.
“They are just as intelligent, talented and capable as any group of Pennsylvania students. But they do need an education system that allocates resources equitably so that every student can meet his or her potential.”
Holmes said if the district received funding equal to its current deficit, “we could significantly reduce the local property-tax rate and still have the resources necessary to transform this district and provide our children with a 21st Century education.”
Top 11 Underfunded Counties in School Funding
- Philadelphia $369,372,060
- Berks $148,930,461
- Lehigh $98,924,497
- York $87,251,886
- Lancaster $63,197,597
- Dauphin $49,643,528
- Montgomery $48,698,334
- Delaware $48,566,780
- Luzerne $47,138,529
- Lackawanna $41,402,964
- Monroe $44,435,599
Top 11 Overfunded Counties in School Funding
- Allegheny $140,784,116
- Westmoreland $75,149,082
- Washington $54,510,234
- Beaver $52,892,060
- Cameron $49,005,342
- Erie $46,159,869
- Butler $41,924,101
- Blair $38,531,327
- Fayette $36,100,052
- Lawrence $32,979,645
- Somerset $30,320,515
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