pa house democrats education spending

House Democrats Pick Special Interest Over Kids (Again), Ignoring Real Education Solutions

Harrisburg, Pa., June 4, 2024 — Today, the Pennsylvania House Education Committee passed House Bill (HB) 2370, a bill codifying recommendations from the Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC) report adopted earlier this year. The committee voted 14 to 11 in favor of the legislation, passing it despite a lack of support from legislative Republicans and maybe even the Administration. The BEFC recommended that the state increase public education spending by nearly $6 billion, which would cost Pennsylvania families an additional $2,000 per year. 

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

“The House Education Committee vote today clearly illustrates that Democrats are all talk and no action. They’re not interested in crafting real solutions for kids in need, nor do they care to pass workable, bipartisan legislation strengthening Pennsylvania’s education system. Instead, they’re merely doubling down on the same failed policies of the past. And in doing so, Democrats are leaving students behind.

“HB 2370 is yet another love letter to the BEFC’s hyper-partisan public school funding report, which narrowly passed along party lines. The bill would enact the commission’s misguided recommendations, jacking up government spending on public education by almost $6 billion. Its ‘solution’ to our state’s education crisis is throwing more money at the problem. The legislation is shortsighted and disregards the burden that additional spending places on Pennsylvania families—a cost totaling $2,000 per year.

“House Democrats are apparently more concerned with pleasing their campaign donors than helping the thousands of kids who are being robbed of a bright future because they can’t read or do math at grade level.  And by the way—House Democrats promised to come to the table and negotiate in good faith after touring the state. Instead, they wasted more of our hard-earned taxpayer money looking at empty buildings and broken boilers. That’s not governing in good faith, and it’s not charting a path forward for the commonwealth.

“We must prioritize student-first solutions—programs like Lifeline Scholarships that immediately expand educational freedom for kids in our state’s worst-performing schools. Bipartisan initiatives like these will provide the options families need to find the best educational fit for their children now.

“Today’s vote is a disappointing reminder that, for House Democrats, political posturing takes precedence over real progress. The Commonwealth Foundation will continue to advocate for practical, effective policies that save students and offer them the future they deserve.”

Find more information about education funding in the commonwealth here.


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