Education advocates in Pennslyvania have long been fighting for equitable funding for their schools and especially for the drastically underfunded district of Philladelphia. In recent years, budget cuts have left the Philly students without basic school resources like classroom supplies, counselors and school nurses, and almost prevented school from starting on time this past year. A new proposal from the Campaign for Fair Education Funding (CFEF) would provide desperately needed relief to Philadelphia and to other struggling districts.
In their proposal, CFEF emphasizes the need for an equitable and accountable funding formula for schools across the state, one that is "sustainable, predictable, and long-term." Their formula to help ensure equity consists of several important factors, and takes into account both student and districts' specific needs. As the proposal states, the formula:
"Directs more funding to districts and students with the greatest need by addressing student factors like poverty, English proficiency, and enrollment, as well as district factors like tax effort, sparsity and the impact of charter schools."
By weighting these factors against a carefully considered state baseline cost per student, the proposal provides the "real costs" nessecary to adequately support students.
Implementing this formula would direct funding to where it is most needed and help ensure all of Pennslyvania's children recieve fair opportunities for their education. The proposal would eventually lead to an increase of $3.611 billion in basic education funding over the course of six to eight years, as well as proposing minimum increases for districts during this period of implementation.
You can read more about the CFEF proposal here.