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Friday, June 19, 2015

Rapp, House Education Committee to Consider
New Basic Education Funding Formula

HARRISBURG — Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) announced today that the House Education Committee will convene next week to examine the Basic Education Funding Commission’s newly released report which recommends that the Pennsylvania General Assembly adopt a new formula for distributing state funding for basic education to Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts.
“According to an email I received from Pennsylvania House Education Committee Majority Chairman Stan Saylor, myself and other members of the committee were instructed to be prepared next week to vote on the Basic Education Funding Commission’s full report and recommendations,” said Rapp. “Of course, the highest priority recommendation contained in the commission’s report is for the state Legislature to develop a viable funding formula that would be a significant improvement over the current system for how Pennsylvania distributes state dollars toward basic education.” In order to compile to this report and recommendations, the 15-member Basic Education Funding Commission, which was created through Act 51 of 2014, held 15 hearings over 11 months and heard from more than 110 individuals including superintendents, school board presidents, business leaders, nonprofit organizations and parents. It also engaged the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) to develop and record the results of a survey sent to a representative sample of school districts across Pennsylvania to determine their costs for various factors to be used as a guide in developing a new funding formula that allows for greater accountability, transparency and predictability. “While the Basic Education Funding Commission came to the unanimous conclusion that the new formula needs to provide a fair distribution of state education dollars, the recommendations of the commission cannot go into effect without legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed by the governor,” said Rapp. “This is precisely the process that will begin to move forward with the House Education Committee next week.”

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