1st PIN - EDUCATION
I’ll fight to get equitable funding and quality education for all Pennsylvania children, and widen access to special programs.
Local Funding (BLUE) vs State Funding (YELLOW) from 1970-1987
The state has not been paying its fair share for public education and our local school boards are feeling the pressure because of it. Over the last 14 years, state funding for Upper Dublin School District and Upper Moreland School District has accounted for only 20% of the total district revenue, tasking the school board to raise the remaining majority of the funds needed to fund our schools. This inequality of state funding for public schools goes back to the 1960s, when the Pennsylvania State Legislature passed Act 580, which established a goal for the state funding to make up half of each school districts budget. In the early 1970s, the budgets were, on average, equally split between local and state funding and in 1973, the state funding was actually higher than the local funding. After 1973, however, the radical imbalance between state and local funding started. Because of this, local taxpayers are burdened each year with ever-increasing local property taxes. Refer to the charts above to see how we have to fill the enormous difference with our precious and hard-earned money.
I understand how underfunded our schools really are and it is very sad that the state forces us pay more in taxes. The root of this problem is the out-of-date school funding formula. In 2015, a bipartisan group of PA legislators created a new funding formula, but there are still many problems. The new formula gives each school district a percent of the share of the budget. Therefore, the school districts receive a percent of the budget, which can fluctuate based on who controls the legislature. For the fiscal year 2016, the General Education Fund got about $11 billion for Pre-K to 12th grade education. However, this was clearly not enough, as you can see in the charts above. In Upper Moreland, state funding only increased about $1 million from 2015-2016 to 2016-2017 to make up just 26% of the total budget. Our neighbors to the north in New York spent more than $25 billion on education in 2016. We need to increase the education budget. And history tells us that we can. In the 1970s, when there was not as much of an imbalance between state and local public school funding, education made up about half of the total state budget. In 2016, education funding only made up 35.1%. If elected, I will help to propose a large increase to our education budget so that we can lift the burden placed on school boards, save our property tax dollars and better fund our schools.
Basic Education Funding Commission. “2014 Report and Recommendations.” Aug. 2014,
Davarre, David W. “Rising Costs...Falling Funding.” Pennslyvania School Boards Association,
PSBA.org, Feb. 2008, www.qcsd.org/cms/lib04/PA01000005/Centricity/Domain/1/rising_costs.pdf.
“Division of the Budget.” NYS DOB: 2015-2016 Budget Publications Archive,
Department of Education. “AFR Data: Summary-Level 2006-2017.” Annual Finance Reports.
Hughes, Vincent. “PA'S UNEQUAL EDUCATION FUNDING!” Senator Vincent Hughes, 12
Hatboro Horsham School Board. “Final 2016-2017 Budget.” Hatboro-Horsham.org
Lower Moreland School Board. “Final 2016-2017 Budget.” LMTSD.org
Markosek, Joe. “PA’s Fair Funding Formula Explained.” Basic Education Funding Committee:
Primer, 10 Jan. 2018. http://www.pahouse.com/Files/Documents/Appropriations/series/3013/BEFC_BP_011018.pdf
Montgomery County Tax Claim Bureau.
Pennsylvania Government, Office of the Budget. “2015-2016 Enacted Budget House Bill 1801.”
Enacted Budget 2015-2016.
Pennsylvania Government, Office of the Budget. “2016-2017 Enacted Budget Senate Bill 1073.”
Enacted Budget 2016-2017.
Upper Dublin School Board. “Final 2017-2018 Budget.” Accessed from external link provided by
Upper Moreland School Board. “Final 2017-2018 Budget.” UMTSD.org