Pennsylvania education funding reform campaign
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Pennsylvania Education Funding Reform Campaign. PA Education Policy Forum Pittsburgh November 29, 2007. Purpose. Advocates for fair funding and educational opportunity in Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania Education Funding Reform Campaign

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Pennsylvania education funding reform campaign

Pennsylvania Education Funding Reform Campaign

PA Education Policy Forum


November 29, 2007

EPLC - November 29, 2007



  • Advocates for fair funding and educational opportunity in Pennsylvania

  • Goal is the enactment and maintenance of a statewide education funding system that supports the principles of equity, adequacy, efficiency, accountability and predictability

  • Coordinated by the Education Law Center, Good Schools Pennsylvania, and The Education Policy and Leadership Center

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Campaign strategies

Campaign Strategies

  • Inform state policymakers

    • importance of effective schools

    • link between funding and student achievement,

    • elements of a fair and effective funding system

  • Identify and support champions among state policymakers

  • Engage education and other community organizations in collaborative effort to build public support for changes in state policy

  • Mobilize citizen action to call upon Governor and General Assembly to enact changes in state policy, and to hold policymakers accountable for actions on this issue.

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Costing out study

Costing-Out Study

  • Creation of Study

  • Methodologies Used

  • Assumptions Underlying the Study

  • Three Elements to Costing-Out Resources

    > Base cost(excluded food, transportation, community services, capital costs, debt service)

    > Student-driven costs

    > Other costs (district size, enrollment trends, regional cost of living)

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Findings of the study

Findings of the Study

  • Base cost equals $8,003 per student

  • Extra costs

    • Disabilities—1.3 times base cost

    • Poverty—0.43 times base cost

    • ELL*—1.48 to 2.32 times base cost

    • Gifted*—0.20 to 0.674 times base cost

      *Higher in smaller districts

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Findings of the study1

Findings of the Study

  • The average annual total funding needed per student is $12,057.An average of $9,512 per student was spent in 2005-2006. $2,546 in additional funding is needed for all students to reach academic proficiency and performance expectations.

  • Pennsylvania must increase education spending by $4.61 billion per year over current levels- a 26.8 percent increase—in order to meet established performance standards.

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Findings of the study2

Findings of the Study

  • 474 districts are spending below the levels recommended in the study. 1.68 million students attend these under-funded schools

  • It costs far more—on average $3,000 more per student—to provide quality education in districts with the highest students needs

  • Pennsylvania’s transportation spending appears to reasonably address costs faced by districts

  • Pennsylvania has a large variation of wealth from district to district

  • The current state funding system is inequitable

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Findings of the study3

Findings of the Study

  • The total of all state and local taxes collected in Pennsylvania is close to national average, but is 6-12 percent lower than collected in six nearby states (DE, MD, NJ, NY, OH, WV).

  • If additional revenues are provided to improve student achievement, such funds should be collected through state taxes and distributed based on the needs and wealth of school districts.

  • The costing out process developed for this study could be used by the state as the basis for a new education funding system.

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Public opinion survey

Public Opinion Survey

  • Conducted by Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall

  • 800 respondents during October 2007

  • Public Education is important

  • All students have a right to quality education

  • Current system is not fair

  • We do not spend enough on education

  • State should pay half or more

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Ed finance reform commission

Ed Finance Reform Commission

  • HR 460 - Representatives John Siptroth (D-189) and Beverly Mackereth (R-196)

  • Creates a 41-member commission

  • Assignment: Analyzing results of costing-out study and recommend at a minimum two formulae for distributing state funding

  • Similar Senate Resolution

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Reform commission

Reform Commission

  • Four primary goals would be to ensure that:

    • State funds allocated for basic education are distributed adequately and equitably;

    • Allocation of state funding addresses unique characteristics among districts, including changes in demography and needs of students;

    • Allocation of state funding is linked with measures of accountability; and,

    • School districts remain accountable for meeting state academic standards and attaining student proficiency

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Reform commission1

Reform Commission

  • Required to:

  • Consider national trends in ed funding and potential relevance to Pennsylvania);

  • Review methods that link funding to accountability systems such as value-added;

  • Examine the impact of federal mandates on the Commonwealth’s schools;

  • Examine impact of state regulations and standards:

  • Study demographic patterns to determine impact of growth and decline in enrollment on districts’ operational costs and positive and negative aspects of school consolidation as a means to affect cost efficiencies;

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Reform commission2

Reform Commission

  • Examine efficiency of consolidating current funding programs used to distribute state ed funds - analyze advantages & disadvantages of targeted categorical funding;

  • Review potential local cost control mechanisms that may become necessary if commission’s recommendations lead to state assuming greater funding responsibility;

  • Examine opportunities for improved cooperation & consolidation among districts to improve efficiency and effectiveness of districts’ operations in order to achieve savings and enhance student achievement

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Competing property tax relief proposals

Competing Property Tax Relief Proposals

  • Rep. Levdansky - HB 1600

  • Rep. DeWeese - HB 1489

  • Rep. Rohrer - HB 1275

  • Rep. Perzel - HB 1951

  • Sen. O’Pake – SB 1163,1164,1165

  • Sen. Rhoades – SB 1108

  • Others

EPLC - November 29, 2007

How money matters

“How Money Matters”

  • “How Money Matters” Project of EPLC

  • 18-month research project, including a series of public hearings

  • Examine relationship of adequate and equitable funding for public schools to student achievement

  • Identify compelling evidence that money in sufficient amounts and appropriately spent makes a difference

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Related issues

Related Issues

  • Property Tax Relief Proposals


  • Cost-Reduction Task Force

  • District Consolidation

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Next steps

Next Steps

  • Follow-Up to Costing-Out Study

    > Action by Governor/Legislature

    > Funding Reform Commission

  • Funding Proposal by ASAP and Ed Funding Advocacy Group

  • Governor’s Budget Message – Feb. 5

  • Primary Campaign – Jan. 22 – April 22

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Next steps1

Next Steps

  • Formal Campaign

  • Launch Campaign Web Site

  • “How Money Matters” Hearings

  • Enlist/Support Action by Individuals and Organizations

  • Legislative Champion Development

  • Build Media Awareness and Support

  • Public Advocacy

  • Policymaker Accountability

  • Governor, 26 Senate, 102 House

EPLC - November 29, 2007

What you can do

What You Can Do!

  • Lessons Learned

  • Building State and Local Champions—Who and what does this impact?

  • Building Legislative Networks—Grassroots Counts

  • Creating and Using Messages That Resonate

  • Using Data to Make a Difference

  • Learning to Make the “Ask”

EPLC - November 29, 2007

Pennsylvania education funding reform campaign

The Education Policy and Leadership Center

Education Law Center

Good Schools Pennsylvania

EPLC - November 29, 2007

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