Cuts and Consolidation on Table in Pennsylvania Budget


Last Updated: July 18, 2009
 

This article appeared in the July 2009 Rural Policy Matters.

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The state Education Secretary and a legislator have introduced a bill that would create a commission to create “optimal school district boundaries.” The commission would hold public hearings, write a plan, then hold more hearings before the plan is introduced in the legislature. Governor Ed Rendell has proposed school district consolidation as a way to cut spending in the state despite reports that demonstrate few if any savings will be achieved.
 
The legislature is also battling over the education budget. Pennsylvania had been on track to increase funding annually as they implement a new finance formula. But budget shortfalls have prompted proposals to fill cuts with stimulus funds. The state senate’s budget would also roll state spending on education back to 2006 levels and undo progress toward implementation of a new state funding plan as a way to cut funding overall. That prompted a letter from Education Secretary Arne Duncan recommending another solution be found.
 
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