Wolf’s Cockamamie Concoction
Matt Brouillette pointed out in his latest commentary that Gov. Wolf is taking a “lone-wolf” approach to governing. The latest example is his unilateral action to distribute school funding according to his own whims.
As James Paul noted, Wolf created his own scheme for doling out school funds, ignoring the bipartisan basic education funding commission's recommendations from December.
To stop Wolf from acting alone, the legislature included language in its latest budget that prohibits the distribution of new funds until a new funding formula is adopted.
That budget—which Gov. Wolf let become law without his signature—says the increase in funding “may not be expended until enabling legislation to distribute funding for payment of basic education funding for the 2015-2016 fiscal year is enacted.”
Wolf is completely ignoring the law, and the legislature, to do his own thing.
Sen. Jake Corman put it best, in talking to Capitolwire (paywall):
“The General Appropriations bill was very clear that he could not drive out the new money without a formula, and he vetoed that formula,” Corman said. “For him to come up with some cockamamie concoction that the money he blue-lined in December was the old money and he kept the new money – that doesn't stand on the face of it.”
Wolf's “cockamamie concoction” rewards just a handful of school districts. Four districts—Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chester-Upland, and Wilkinsburg—get 50 percent of the new funding.
A whopping 428 school districts—or 85 percent of all school districts—get less funding under Wolf’s concoction than under the bipartisan funding formula.
This formula looks at students to offer a “weighted student funding” model, rather than letting politics and past enrollment dictate current funding decisions.