In setting forth his proposal, Doug Mastriano cites current expenditures divided by Average Daily Membership (a measure of the number of students) for Pennsylvania school districts and proposes that, instead of funding each student at $19,000 on average (which equals $33 billion), Pennsylvania fund each student at $9,000 ($15 billion) or $10,000 ($17 billion). To go from a statewide avearge funding level of $19,000 a student to $9,000 a student requires a cut of $17.6 billion, or 53%.
When modeling this proposal PSEA Research decided to make the most “optimistic” assumption about what Mastriano really meant. We assume that the state would fully fund the $9,000-per-student voucher and leave other local non-property taxes and federal revenues, untouched. As a result of this modification:
- Total revenues available to public schools (including school districts, charter schools, career and tech centers, and intermediate units) would fall by $12.75 billion, or 33%.
- There would be a total loss of employment of 118,704, or 49%, in all public schools; and
- The ratio of students to teachers would more than double.