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School Funding

"Heterogeneous District Response to Statewide School Finance Reform: Did Pennsylvania's Act 61 Increase Education Spending or Provide Tax Relief?"

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A state effort to target funding to lagging school districts did not reduce disparities in student achievement and per-student spending, a study has found.

Under the 2008 plan, which is no longer in effect, the state sent additional money to school districts that were spending less than what a formula determined was adequate for a district with its number of students and level of poverty, among other factors. The planned six-year program ended after three years.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Georgia State University concluded in a study published earlier this month in the National Tax Journal that the payments the state sent to these districts did not shrink the gaps in spending or student achievement that separate wealthy and poorer districts.

The study notes that the payments, a relatively small component of basic education funding, came to an average of $236 per student in the first year, and $479 per student in the third year, the researchers found.

Vol. 36, Issue 05, Page 4

Published in Print: September 21, 2016, as School Funding
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