Pennsylvania Shortchanged Public Schools By About $4.6 Billion in Funding in 2018-19, Report States

The outside of Upper Darby High School
Image via Upper Darby School District

Pennsylvania public schools came up short by about $4.6 billion in state funding in 2018-19, according to a report that’s part of a lawsuit, writes Alex Rose for the Daily Times.

The lawsuit, filed in 2014 on behalf of six school districts and others, claims the state has failed to ensure that every student receives resources needed for college and a career.

Penn State University Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Matthew Kelly, an expert witness in the case, described Pennsylvania’s school finance system as “unequal and inadequate.”

He found that 86 percent of students are not adequately funded.

Upper Darby School District tops the list for Delaware County, with a shortfall of nearly $6,000 per student, according to the report.

William Penn School District has a shortfall of more than $4,800 per student.

“Pennsylvania spends an average of $4,800 less per pupil on students in poor districts than on students in rich districts, and this gap continues to widen,” Kelly found.  Districts then have to turn to local property taxes for revenue.

Poorer districts pay the highest tax rates and have had more tax rate increases than richer ones, the report noted.

Read more about the school funding crisis at the Daily Times.

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