The Pennsylvania legislature and Gov. Tom Wolf recently enacted a state budget that added $160 million to basic education funding for school districts, a modest 2.6% increase, and added $50 million to special education funding, a more substantial increase of 4.4%. The budget also includes some welcome increases in state funding for early childhood programs.
Unfortunately, despite some congratulatory rhetoric from legislators, the approved state budget did little to change the overall dismal picture of school funding in Pennsylvania. According to a recent report published by the Center on Regional Politics at Temple University, Pennsylvania is becoming permanently divided between have and have-not districts. The report warned that Pennsylvania’s education funding system is creating a “persistent gulf” between districts with surpluses and districts with shortfalls.
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