(YORK DISPATCH) COALITION: YORK CITY DISTRICT IS PA’S MOST UNDERFUNDED PER STUDENT
A coalition fighting for equitable education funding in Pennsylvania has named York City the most underfunded school district in the state based on per-student spending, and one of the most severely underfunded overall.
Underfunded by $51.65 million in basic and special education annually and by $6,565 per student, the York City School District is one of 19 within the state’s 500 school districts that is underfunded by more than $10 million.
Lawmakers “always hit the urban schools the hardest,” school board President Margie Orr said, noting the news was no surprise.
Superintendent Eric Holmes said York City students are “just as intelligent, talented and capable as any group of Pennsylvania students,” and they don’t need anyone making excuses for them.
“But they do need an education system that allocates resources equitably so that every student can meet his or her potential,” he added.
The data was released by Equity First, a coalition of groups supporting Citizens for Fair School Funding, a nonprofit focused on children and fair funding.
The coalition projected which schools will be overfunded and underfunded in the 2018-19 school year based on the current state funding formula and Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal.
“This massive underfunding impacting the poorest, most-minority students is morally wrong,” said Kelly Lewis, chairman of the coalition.
A total of 138 districts will be underfunded to the tune of $1.22 billion.
York County: York County comes in fourth within the 11 most underfunded counties in the state, with $87.25 million of the more than $1 billion total.
The three most underfunded, according to the coalition, are Philadelphia, Berks and Lehigh counties.
About half of the county’s 16 public school districts will be underfunded in 2018-19, Equity First estimates.
In basic education, York City leads with a $47.2 million shortfall, followed by Central York, underfunded by $9.1 million.
York City took the top spot again in special education, underfunded by $4.5 million, and Dallastown was the second most underfunded at $1.1 million.
Overall, the two most underfunded districts in basic and special education behind York City are Central York, at $9.2 million, and Dallastown, at $7.9 million.