Basic Education Funding Commission Report is Online

The Basic Education Funding Commission full report released yesterday to the General Assembly and the public is now online, according to a statement from the members of the Commission.

The Commission recommended that a new formula be adopted for distributing state funding for basic education to Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts.

To view the report or for more information on the Basic Education Funding Commission or the meeting yesterday, visit the Basic Education Funding Commission’s website at basiceducationfundingcommission.pasenategop.com or any of the four legislative caucus websites or the Department of Education’s:

Contacts: 

Matt Moyer (Senator Browne) mmoyer@pasen.gov – 717-787-1349

Steve Miskin (House Leadership) smiskin@pahousegop.com – 717-772-9943

Jeff Sheridan (Governor’s Office) jesheridan@pa.gov – 717-783-1116

Basic Education Funding Commission Releases Recommendations and Report


Basic Education Funding Commission – Final Report

The Basic Education Funding Commission recommended today (June 18th) that the General Assembly adopt a new formula for distributing state funding for basic education to Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts, according to a statement from the members of the Commission.

The Commission – which was co-chaired by Senator Pat Browne and Representative Mike Vereb – undertook an extensive and comprehensive study of a number of factors before arriving ultimately at a consensus on a new formula that will benefit school districts, parents and children.

The 15-member group, created through Act 51 of 2014 (sponsored as House Bill 1738 by Representative Bernie O’Neill), held 15 hearings over 11 months and heard from a wide range of experts and advocates in the education field, as well as parents, from urban, suburban and rural school districts throughout the state.

The Commission determined that allocation of basic education funding needs to allow for accountability, transparency and predictability. The main objective of the new funding formula is to fairly distribute state resources according to various student and school district factors.

“The lack of a permanent state funding formula for education has provided an unbalanced distribution of state funding to school districts and does not match the needs to educate students in some districts,” members of the Commission said. “All of this information the commission received throughout the past year has allowed us to develop a funding structure based on the actual costs involved in providing basic education, including factors that require more than the normal level of funding for a child.”

The new formula takes into account several student-based factors, including: Student count, which is the average of the most recent three years of Average Daily Membership (ADM), poverty, English language learners and charter school enrollment. The formula assigned weights to each category to help determine the degree to which each factor drives up the cost of educating a student.

The formula also includes three school district-based factors which reflect student and community differences throughout the 500 Pennsylvania school districts. The three factors are:

  • Sparsity Size Adjustment: Which adjusts for student counts in small rural school districts.
  • Median Household Income Index: Which measures a school district’s median household income compared to the statewide median household income.
  • Tax Effort Capacity Index: Recognizes a school district’s ability to generate local tax-related revenue compared to the statewide median.

“The goal of the commission was to create a funding formula that would be a significant improvement over the current system for how Pennsylvania distributes state dollars toward education,” members of the Commission said. “We believe we have laid out a plan that will succeed in doing that.”

Commission members 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 the new formula. The IFO surveyed 125 public schools, with 97 of them returning the survey providing valuable information that assisted the Commission in determining weights for the Commission’s recommended student factors, such as English Language Learners and children in poverty.

While the Basic Education Funding Commission came to a unanimous conclusion and recommendation on the formula needed to provide a fair distribution of state education dollars, the recommendations of the commission will not go into effect without legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.

“Having a funding formula signed into law would provide a more consistent and predictable indication of the amount of state funding a school district will receive each year based on a ratio from the total state spending on education,” Commission members said. “It also indicates why certain schools receive different amounts of funding since there would be a transparent set of factors which determine funding distributions.”

Members of the commission (both the original and final membership) included: Senators Pat Browne; Jay Costa; Andrew Dinniman; Mike Folmer; Matt Smith; Lloyd Smucker; Rob Teplitz; Representatives Paul Clymer; Mark Longietti; Donna Oberlander; James Roebuck, Jr.; Stan Saylor; and Mike Sturla; Randy Albright, Secretary of the Budget (Wolf); Carolyn Dumaresq, Acting Secretary of Education (Corbett); John Hanger, Secretary of Planning and Policy (Wolf); Rita Perez, Acting Deputy Secretary of Education (Corbett); Pedro Rivera, Secretary of Education (Wolf); and Charles Zogby, Secretary of the Budget (Corbett). Commission members’ designees included: Representative Bernie O’Neill; Chris Wakeley; and Nichole Duffy.

The Basic Education Funding Commission members would like to thank everyone who testified or contacted the Commission with information that helped us reach this important conclusion. It is clear there are many people across the state that have made developing an actual basic education funding formula a priority and wanted to help.

For more information on the report recommended by the Commission, visit the Basic Education Funding Commission’s website at basiceducationfundingcommission.pasenategop.com or any of the four legislative caucus websites or the Department of Education’s:

Contacts:  

Matt Moyer (Senator Browne) mmoyer@pasen.gov – 717-787-1349

Steve Miskin (House Leadership) smiskin@pahousegop.com – 717-772-9943

Jeff Sheridan (Governor’s Office) jesheridan@pa.gov – 717-783-1116

Basic Education Funding Commission to Release Report

Listen

The Basic Education Funding Commission, Co-Chaired by Senator Pat Browne (R-16 Lehigh) and Representative Mike Vereb (R-150 Montgomery), will meet on Thursday, June 18th at 10 a.m. to consider recommendations and a funding formula and release its report to the General Assembly and the public.

The Basic Education Funding Commission was established through Act 51 of 2014 to develop a new formula for the distribution of state funding for basic education to Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts. The 15-member commission has undertaken a comprehensive study of a number of factors, held 15 hearings over the past 11 months and heard from a wide-range of experts and advocates in the education field, as well as parents, before arriving ultimately at a consensus on a new formula.

The meeting will be held in the Majority Caucus Room of the House of Representatives. The recommendations of the commission will not go into effect, however, without legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.

Barring any unforeseen technical difficulties, the hearing will stream live on www.pasenategop.com and www.pahousegop.com.

Contacts:  

Matt Moyer (Senator Browne) mmoyer@pasen.gov – 717-787-1349

Steve Miskin (House Leadership) smiskin@pahousegop.com – 717-772-9943

Jeff Sheridan (Governor’s Office) jesheridan@pa.gov – 717-783-1116

BASIC EDUCATION FUNDING COMMISSION EXTENDS RELEASE OF REPORT DEADLINE

The Basic Education Funding Commission has extended the deadline one week for the release of the commission’s final report on a new formula for distributing basic education funding to Pennsylvania schools.

This allows members of the commission the necessary time to continue to build on the positive and productive conversations taking place based on information gathered during the year-long hearings to reach a final consensus on a product that generates a fair distribution formula before making a recommendation to the General Assembly.

The 15-member commission has undertaken a comprehensive study of a number of factors and listened to a wide-range of testimony from experts and advocates in the education field over the past 11 months and 15 hearings throughout the state before arriving ultimately at a new formula.

The Basic Education Funding Commission was established through Act 51 of 2014. The recommendations of the commission will not go into effect, however, without legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.

Contacts:  

Matt Moyer (Senator Browne) mmoyer@pasen.gov – 717-787-1349

Steve Miskin (House Leadership) smiskin@pahousegop.com – 717-772-9943

Jeff Sheridan (Governor’s Office) jsheridan@pa.gov – 717-783-1116

Basic Education Funding Commission Hearing

Basic Education Funding Commission Hearing

Monday, April 27, 2015
10:00 a.m.

University of Pittsburgh – Student Union

10:00AM

Opening remarks by Co-chairs – Senator Browne and Representative Vereb

10:05-10:35 AM
The Honorable Bill Peduto
Mayor, Pittsburgh
Witness: Bill Peduto, Mayor

10:35–11:05 AM
Ira Weiss, Solicitor; and Ron Joseph, Chief Operating Officer
Pittsburgh School District
Pittsburgh School District

11:05-11:35 AM
Harold Grant, Parliamentarian/Staff Rep.
Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers

11:35-12:05 AM
Carey Harris, Executive Director
A+ SCHOOLS

12:05-12:35 PM
Cristine Wagner-Deitch, IU 27
Director of Curriculum Services and Gifted Liaison

12:35 PM
Public Comment

Basic Education Funding Commission

Basic Education Funding Commission Public Hearing

Thursday, March 12, 2015
10:00 a.m.

North Office Building Hearing Room #1


Listen

Open Remarks
Co-Chairs Senator Pat Browne, Representative Mike Vereb, Senator Rob Teplitz
Representative Mark Longietti and Secretary of the Budget, Randy Albright

10:05 a.m.
Jennifer Smallwood, Board President
James Thompson, Board Vice President
Harrisburg School Board

Ford Thompson, Board President
Central Dauphin School Board

Charles Thiemann, Board President
West Perry School Board

10:50 a.m.
Tim Shrom
Business Manager, Solanco School District

Dr. Thomas Newcome
Superintendent, Octorara Area School District

11:30 a.m.
Dr. John Kurelja
Superintendent, Warrior Run School District

Dr. Mark DiRocco
Superintendent, Lewisburg Area School District

Mr. W. Charles Young
Superintendent, Troy Area School District

12:10 p.m.
Joan Duvall-Flynn
NAACP – PA

Carol Metzler
Coalition Against Human Trafficking

William Farmer
Child Trauma Therapist/Member Trauma Informed Education Coalition

12: 40 p.m.
Tracey DePasquale
Associate Director, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pa.
Attachment

Lori Gallagher, LPC, Gallagher Counseling

Kristy Robinson, MSW, Program Training and Development, Laurel Life Services

Bill Hodge, Associate Superintendent, Chambersburg Area School District

1:10 p.m.
Public Comment

Lisa Lightner

Basic Education Funding Commission

Basic Education Funding Commission Public Hearing

Thursday, February 5, 2015
10:00 a.m.

Central Montco Technical High School
821 Plymouth Road
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462


Open Remarks – Co-Chairs Senator Pat Browne and Representative Mike Vereb

10:05 a.m.

Dr. Lee Burket
Director, Bureau of Career and Technical Education, PA Department of Education

11:05 a.m.

PA Association of Career and Technical Administrators (PACTA)

Jackie Cullen, Executive Director

Walter Slauch, Vice President and Administrative Director, Central Montco Technical High School

Thomas Allen, President and Administrative Director, Eastern Center for Arts and Technology

12:05 p.m.

David Warren
Executive Director, Lancaster County Career & Technical Center

Sandra Himes
Executive Director, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute

12:35 p.m.

Joanne Barnett
CEO, PA Virtual Cyber Charter School

Dave Hardy
Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School

1:05 p.m.

Public Comment

 

Basic Education Funding Commission to hold hearing in Plymouth Meeting

Vereb, Browne to Host State Basic Education Funding Commission Hearing in Plymouth Meeting on Thursday

WHAT:     A Basic Education Funding Commission hearing to gather testimony from officials with experience and knowledge related to career and technical schools to help with the overall goal of developing a state funding formula to disperse Commonwealth dollars to school districts across Pennsylvania.

WHO:       Basic Education Funding Commission co-chairs, Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) and Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh); additional members of the Basic Education Funding Commission; officials from the Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators, including representatives from Central Montco Technical High School and Eastern Center for Arts and Technology; participants from other career and technical schools in Pennsylvania; and testifiers from a charter school in Philadelphia and an online charter school.

WHEN:     Thursday, Feb. 5, at 10 a.m.

WHERE:  Central Montco Technical High School

821 Plymouth Road, Plymouth Meeting

Contacts:       

Vicki Wilken (Sen. Browne) vwilken@pasen.gov – 717-787-1349

Matt Moyer (Sen. Browne) mmoyer@pasen.gov – 610-366-2327 (Office) & 610-349-2879 (Cell)

Steve Miskin (House Leadership) smiskin@pahousegop.com – 717-772-9943

Dan Massing (Rep. Vereb) dmassing@pahousegop.com – 717-772-9845

 

Basic Education Funding Commission Public Hearing

Basic Education Funding Commission Public Hearing

Thursday, January 29, 2015
10:00 a.m.

Greenville Junior/Senior High School
9 Donation Road
Greenville, PA 16125


Open Remarks – Co-Chairs Senator Pat Browne and Representative Mike Vereb

10:05 a.m.

Mark Ferrara
Superintendent, Greenville Area School District

Michael Calla
Acting Superintendent, Sharon City School District

Dr. Daniel J. Bell
Superintendent, Hermitage School District

Dr. Brad Ferko
Superintendent, Sharpsville Area School District

11:05 a.m.

Jerome Sasala
Acting Superintendent, Austin Area School District

11:35 a.m.

Jeremy Resnick
Executive Director and Founder, Propel Schools Foundation

Mike Gentile
CEO, Keystone Charter School

12:15 p.m.

Dr. Jay Badams
Superintendent, Erie School District

Bill Nichols
Superintendent, Corry School District

12:45 p.m.

Public Comment

Basic Education Funding Commission to Hold Hearing in Mercer County

WHAT:
The Basic Education Funding Commission will hold its next public hearing to continue to discuss and receive testimony regarding a new formula for distributing basic education funding to Pennsylvania schools. The commission was established through Act 51 of 2014 to review and make recommendations related to basic education funding.

WHO:
Basic Education Funding Commission, co-chaired by Senator Pat Browne and Representative Mike Vereb. The hearing will be held in the district of commission member Representative Mark Longietti.

Tentatively scheduled to testify include:

  • Mark Ferrara, Superintendent of Greenville Area School District
  • Michael Calla, Acting Superintendent of Sharon City School District
  • Dr. Daniel J. Bell, Superintendent of Hermitage School District
  • Dr. Brad Ferko, Superintendent of Sharpsville Area School District
  • Jerome Sasala, Acting Superintendent of Austin Area School District
  • Jeremy Resnick, Executive Director and Founder of Propel Schools Foundation
  • Mike Gentile, CEO of Keystone Charter School
  • Dr. Jay Badams, Superintendent of Erie School District
  • Bill Nichols, Superintendent of Corry School District

WHEN:
Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 10 a.m.

WHERE:
Greenville Junior/Senior High School
9 Donation Road
Greenville, PA 16125

Note: The Basic Education Funding Commission has scheduled additional hearings on February 5 in Montgomery County and February 26 in Dauphin County.

We invite the media to attend and cover this event.

Contacts:       

Vicki Wilken (Senator Browne) vwilken@pasen.gov – 717-787-1349
Matt Moyer (Senator Browne) mmoyer@pasen.gov – 610-366-2327 (Office) & 610-349-2879 (Cell)
Steve Miskin (House Leadership) smiskin@pahousegop.com – 717-772-9943
Dan Massing (Representative Vereb) dmassing@pahousegop.com – 717-772-9845