State Education Budget 2012-13
Summary of ELC’s Budget Analysis
Governor Corbett has proposed state funding for public schools in 2012-13 that includes cuts for most school districts. These cuts reflect the loss of $100 million in state funding for Accountability Block Grants, which support kindergarten programs and tutoring for struggling students, as well as 5 percent reductions in Pre-K Counts and Head Start. The Governor has proposed to keep funding at the same level as last year for other education programs.
Despite smaller cuts than last year, the Governor’s proposal for education funding is still deeply flawed because it ignores the fiscal and educational inequities between poor and wealthy school districts. The Governor’s budget does not provide every student with an equal opportunity to learn and succeed in school.
- NO LONG-TERM FUNDING PLAN. The Governor has no plan to strengthen state funding for public education.
Since 2008, school districts have lost nearly $1.5 billion in funding previously received from the state or from federal stimulus. Corbett Administration officials have testified at public hearings that “money does not matter” to the education of children.
- NO HELP FOR DISTRICTS IN FISCAL CRISIS. The Governor has no plan to support the 10 or 15 school districts that are currently bankrupt or will soon run out of funding.
Students in Chester Upland, Erie, Philadelphia, York and other communities are threatened with cutbacks in services and the closing of schools before the end of the normal school year. The Governor has not proposed anything to deal with this crisis.
- NO FORMULAS TO FAIRLY DISTRIBUTE FUNDING. The Governor does not use objective data-based formulas to distribute education funding to school districts based on the needs of students and schools.
The Governor’s budget does not contain any formula to distribute $1 billion in special education funding and also eliminates the long-standing formulas that have previously distributed $6.5 billion in funding for basic education, social security payments, and pupil transportation. It appears that this money will now be handed out based on “hold harmless” practices and political influence, ignoring the conditions in local schools.
10 Criteria for Evaluating K-12 Education Funding
The Law Center used its K-12 Education Funding Criteria for evaluating the Governor's education budget.
In addition, the Law Center will submit a list of questions for legislators to ask adminstration officials duirng the upcoming budget hearings in February and March. Those questions should come from parents, students, educators, community members, local officials, and others. Take a minute and submit a question on PA School Talk.