Pennsylvania Districts Making Big Cuts

Last Updated: June 25, 2010

This article appeared in the June 2010 Rural Policy Matters.

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A new study from the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign sums up the grim financial forecast for school districts in the state. According to “Student Achievement Gains at Risk,” school districts lost $343 million in local revenues this past school year and face continued losses in the three to five year period ahead. The state’s share of school funding in Pennsylvania is low at about 36%.

The effects are likely to be even worse in rural districts in Pennsylvania under a new school funding formula passed two years ago. A Rural Trust analysis of the formula revealed that its “location cost metric” is especially detrimental to rural districts. Last year rural districts were able to secure adjustments to the formula to help mitigate its effects.

Governor Ed Rendell, who says he wants to increase school spending by $354 million, has asked for additional revenue for schools including a cigarette tax increase and new taxes on other forms of tobacco.

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Read more from the June 2010 Rural Policy Matters.