State Budget 2011-2012
July 15, 2011: State Education Budget Overview
We've updated some of our budget materials. The numbers haven't changed, but we've had time to analyze and examine the nearly $1 billion cut to public education.
Here are the updated documents:
June 30, 2011: State Education Budget Resources & Analysis
• The 2011-12 State Budget was formally adopted by both the House and Senate on June 29. It is House Bill 1485.
The education line items can be found on pages 229 through 240. The spending numbers approved for these line items match the spreadsheet found here (look for the Department of Education pages starting on Line 198).
• Budget bottom line — Nothing changed in the education budget over the last few days. Neither the House nor the Senate amended the budget bill before the final votes this week. So the ELC analysis, spreadsheet, and other materials remain accurate and informative.
• The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have issued spreadsheets showing different ways of looking at the education funding appropriated district-by-district.These spreadsheets hide important details about the cuts, but offer an example of how legislators have chosen to present things. Download the district-by-district spreadsheets from the House and the Senate.
• The annual School Code Bill, House Bill 1352, was adopted on June 29 in the Senate and is expected to pass the House on June 30. No changes were made in the Senate and none are expected in the House.
• Read the Law Center's Analysis of the School Code Bill.
• School Code bottom line — The items included in this year’s School Code Bill do not address the needs of disadvantaged students and their families. Unfortunately, the changes being adopted as part of the School Code Bill will decrease the training and professional development of teachers, lower the standards for the qualifications needed to become a superintendent or assistant superintendent, and weaken the oversight and accountability functions of the PA Department of Education over school district operations.
June 28, 2011: Latest Budget Spreadsheet and Fact Sheet
The total statewide level of cuts for PreK-12 education is $961 million. This is a 12 percent total cut. The biggest cut is in state funding for Basic Education, which is cut statewide by $420 million.
The budget completely eliminates many important education programs benefiting disadvantaged students and schools.
• Reimbursing School Districts for Charter Schools
• Education Assistance Program (at-risk student tutoring)
• School Improvement Grants
• High School Reform
June 27, 2011: Political Budgeting Hurts Poor Kids and Schools
Proposed State Cuts Increase the Gap Between Rich and Poor; Last Minute Bills for Vouchers and Charters Do Not Help the Neediest Students
This week state legislators will be asked to vote on a new budget for public education, covering the 2012-12 school year. Unless drastic changes are made, the budget is expected to scratch the wealthiest communities, cut those in the middle, and lacerate the poorest. Massive, costly bills are also being thrown into the mix at the last minute for tuition vouchers and charter school reforms, falsely claiming to help struggling students but really leaving out the neediest children.
March 2011: Failing Marks for Governor's Education Budget Proposal
Gov. Tom Corbett's 2012-12 budget proposal cuts statewide preK-12 education investment by $1.18 billion, a 15 percent total cut, and one of the decisions that earned Gov. Corbett a failing grade on the Education Law Center's Education Budget Scorecard.
Many important education programs are completely eliminated in the Governor's plan, including $259 million in Accountability Grants for at-risk student tutoring programs, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.
In general, the cuts fall hardest on school districts with the greatest student poverty, according to the Law Center's analysis. "The disparity of the cuts is most plainly seen when measured by the dollars cut per student," said Baruch Kintisch, Director of Policy Advocacy for the Law Center. "Some districts are cut more than $1,400 per student, while others are cut less than $100 per student. "
April 22, 2011Patriot-News Editorial Board: "Education cuts: Some districts take an unfair hit in Corbett budget"
An editorial in the Harrisburg Patriot-News features ELC's analysis on the distributive inequity of proposed budget cuts that deliver even more damage to what are already the state's highest-poverty districts.
"At school board meetings across Pennsylvania, the ramifications of Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed public education budget cuts are sinking in. Has it really come to this? Frustrated parents and students are asking this question as they look at the state budget and watch school board members and administrators weigh whether to cut back or eliminate teaching positions, after-school programs, elective classes or, in some cases, kindergarten."
ELC Supporting Documents
- Key Facts about Education Budget for 2012-12
- June 28, 2011: Spreadsheet of Statewide Education Budget Impact by District
- March 2011: Spreadsheet of Statewide Education Budget Impact by District
- Education Budget Scorecard
Join the conversation: http://paschooltalk.org
The impact of the proposed cuts on school districts and students has been covered in various news outlets throughout Pennsylvania.
Here is a sampling of some of the coverage:
Poor schools take the biggest budget hit
Poorer school districts have most to lose in governor's budget proposal
School districts brace for big cuts in Corbett budget
Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Even the area's wealthier school districts are scrambling