basic education funding commission

Basic Education Funding Commission’s Adopted Report Is a Partisan Misfire

Harrisburg, Pa., January 11, 2024 — Today, the Basic Education Funding Commission released its funding recommendations for Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts. The commission, comprised of a bipartisan group of lawmakers and Shapiro administration officials, adopted the report by a vote of eight to seven. 

Commonwealth Foundation Director of Legislative Strategy Kevin Kane issued the following statement in response:

“The Basic Education Funding Commission’s recommendations in the adopted report released today are deeply disappointing. Some commission members lost sight of the original mandate—to review the ‘fair funding formula’ and ensure an equitable, student-based distribution of funds. Instead, a majority of its members embraced special interest group calls for multibillion-dollar increases in public education spending—an ineffective move that fails to address the core of Pennsylvania’s education issues.”

“History has shown that continuously pouring more money into the public school system doesn’t improve educational outcomes. But it does lead to higher taxes. In fact, the commission’s recommendation to increase government spending by nearly $6 billion would cost Pennsylvania families an additional $2,000 per year. The report is a laundry list of special interest spending proposals, rather than a serious attempt to help Pennsylvania’s students.”

“Pennsylvania must prioritize student-first solutions to solve its education crisis, which starts with embracing education choice. Failing public schools shouldn’t hold kids hostage using their ZIP code, compelling them to attend a school that can’t meet their needs. We must empower parents to choose the best option for their children.” 

“I commend the members of the commission who advocated for expanded school choice like Lifeline Scholarships, also known as Pa Award for Student Success (PASS), and the Educational Improvement Tax Credit and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit programs, which provide Pennsylvania families with the educational opportunities they deserve.”

“Thankfully, the commission’s report is nothing more than a love letter to Democrat campaign donors, and its findings have no bearing on parents, students, and taxpayers.”

Find more information about education funding in the commonwealth here


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