Pennsylvania spent $26.1 billion on public schools in 2013-14. According to state data, this amounts to a $600 million increase over the 2012-13 baseline.
As you can see from the chart below, school spending has steadily increased over the past decade, save for 2011-12 upon the expiration of federal stimulus funds. Contrary to the myth propogated by government employee unions, state funding for public education was not cut in 2011-12. More on that tomorrow.
School spending on a per-pupil basis also reached an all-time high in 2013-14, exceeding $15,000 per student. Of course, there are several steps lawmakers can take to more rationally and transparently allocate state education aid, but the broader argument that “schools are underfunded” doesn’t align with the facts.
Take a deeper look at education spending trends in our most recent Policy Memo.