Education

Property-Tax Issue Tops Education Year

By Catherine Gewertz — December 19, 2006 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2005 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds unless noted.

Pennsylvania

Lawmakers in Pennsylvania sought to alleviate homeowner anger by passing a property-tax cut in 2006. The measure restricts the budgeting freedom of school boards, which depend on those revenues.

Gov. Edward G. Rendell

Democrat

Senate:
19 Democrats
31 Republicans


House:
94 Democrats
109 Republicans

Enrollment:
1.8 million

Democratic Gov. Edward G. Rendell, who was re-elected in November, has pushed for a property-tax cut and for shifting more of the burden for school costs to the state government.

The measure he signed into law in June requires school boards to ask voters whether their districts should raise the local earned-income tax in exchange for getting a share of state gambling proceeds that would pay for property-tax reductions. It also requires boards to ask voter permission to increase their budgets above an inflation-pegged cap. (“Pennsylvania Takes Second Shot at Cutting Property Taxes,” July 12, 2006.)

The $26.1 billion fiscal 2007 budget includes $8.8 billion for precollegiate education, an increase of nearly 8 percent over the previous year’s spending plan.

The state’s 3-year-old accountability block grant program got a boost this year, to $250 million from $200 million. Districts may use the funds for programs to improve student achievement, such as smaller class sizes and full-day kindergarten.

Pennsylvania again expanded state funding for the federal Head Start program, setting aside $40 million in the 2007 budget, $10 million more than the year before, in an attempt to boost enrollment to 5,800 children from 4,800.

Support for Project 720, a pilot state effort to increase academic rigor in high schools, grew to $8 million this year from $4.7 million last year. Lawmakers approved $20 million for the first year of a program to provide laptop computers for every student in core courses in 103 high schools, and $10 million to improve science education in 78 elementary schools.

Gov. Rendell’s 2-year-old effort to help high-poverty districts by raising their base funding got more support from the legislature in fiscal 2007. Last year, $22 million was allocated to districts spending less than $8,500 per pupil. This year, $64 million was set aside to help districts that spend less than $9,030 per pupil.

A version of this article appeared in the December 20, 2006 edition of Education Week


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP