Conditions already placed on use of fairer education funding formula?

Conditions already placed on use of fairer education funding formula?

Bipartisanship and cheer abounded at the Capitol Thursday for those taking part in the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission, which included representatives from all four legislative caucuses and the governor’s office, when they unanimously released their long-anticipated funding formula recommendations and other education funding suggestions.

The commission’s recommended funding formula was described as taking into account both student-based and district-based factors that are aimed at providing funding that is truly representative of a district’s needs and unique situation.

However, while many are anticipating swift action on legislative implementation of the commission’s recommendations, some are already putting preconditions on when it would be best to implement the new funding formula.

“There are certainly a group of struggling school districts it would take a number of years back to a basic, functional school district and that—in our view—is not an acceptable funding decision with new resources for the 15-16 fiscal year,” said Budget Secretary Randy Albright, a member of the commission.

Thursday, June 18, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
PlanCON reform urged by public school officials

PlanCON reform urged by public school officials

Groups and officials representing Pennsylvania public school interests called on lawmakers and the governor to support legislation that would significantly reform PlanCON, the process by which school districts are reimbursed for construction projects.

“[PlanCON] consists of eleven laborious, paperwork intensive, bureaucratic, archaic, and out-of-date paperwork submissions,” said Jay Himes of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials. “Taken altogether, it is simply a train wreck when it comes to the state budget and its ability to fund the commitment the Commonwealth should have made for schools to get reimbursed.”

He said the current PlanCON process and the lack of funding resulting in less-than-expected reimbursements for construction projects has led to cuts in programs and personnel as well as increases to property taxes.

Speakers noted many of PlanCON’s provisions—which have their origin in the 1970s—still remain in effect today.

Monday, June 15, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
VIDEO: Costa shows support for Shale tax to fund education

VIDEO: Costa shows support for Shale tax to fund education

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa was joined by democratic leaders and other democratic lawmakers to highlight and push legislation that would create a new $1 billion natural gas extraction tax for education in Pennsylvania. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll

House hearing starts look at ways to increase career and technical education opportunities

A select subcommittee of the House Education Committee held its first hearing Tuesday examining how to increase K-12 career and technical education opportunities.

The Select Subcommittee on Career and Technical Education was formed by House Resolution 102 with bipartisan support in early March and is chaired by Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) and Rep. Patrick Harkins (D-Erie).

Tuesday, April 28, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf, Republicans finalize budget work groups at Tuesday meeting

Gov. Wolf, Republicans finalize budget work groups at Tuesday meeting

House and Senate Republican leaders met with Gov. Tom Wolf for the second straight week Tuesday and finalized the working groups that will be dealing with the budget and component ancillary issues.

“It’s part of our continued meetings with the governor to discuss process and I think we now have a process in place with working groups that will begin budget-related conversations this week,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) following Tuesday’s meeting.

“We’ve got a revenue work group, a liquor [work group], education, and pensions,” he said. “I think everything is ready to go on that."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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