Key Issue: School Funding

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Key Issue: School Funding

In February 2023, the Commonwealth Court ruled after a lengthy trial that Pennsylvania’s public school funding system is unconstitutional. In January 2024, a report adopted by a majority of the Basic Education Funding Commission made it clear that elected officials must provide billions in new state dollars over the next seven years to ensure our school funding system passes constitutional muster.

PA’s students have waited decades for policymakers to take bold action to address school funding equity. Fixing PA’s broken public school funding system must be a top priority in Harrisburg.

Gov. Josh Shapiro's FY 2024-25 Budget Proposal

During a joint session of the General Assembly on Feb. 6, Gov. Josh Shapiro unveiled his FY 2024-25 proposed budget, which includes historic investments in public education and a bold plan to revamp the way the commonwealth organizes and funds community colleges and state-owned and state-related colleges and universities.

Shapiro’s basic education plan proposes to increase funding by nearly $1.1 billion and includes several of the reforms the Basic Education Funding Commission recommended in its Jan. 11 report.

The $1.1 billion increase includes $872 million in adequacy and high tax school district payments and $200 million to be distributed through the basic education subsidy formula. In addition, the proposed budget includes $300 million for school buildings and facilities, and a $50 million increase for special education.

Funding Breakdown

Adequacy targets and adequacy payments

Gov. Shapiro’s budget proposal includes a formula aimed at ensuring that every school district has the resources to spend at least $13,704 per student, a key recommendation of the Basic Education Funding Commission’s Jan. 11 report. State funding to achieve this goal would be phased in over seven years.

This includes $736 million for school districts that currently spend less than $13,704 per student.

PSEA President issues statement on governor’s FY 2024-25 state budget proposal

PSEA Officers and GR Team Discuss Gov. Shapiro's Budget Proposal in Epi. 3 of "Duty Free Lunch" Podcast

The PSEA team discusses the high and low points of Gov. Josh Shapiro's Feb. 6 budget address for 2024-25. PSEA President Aaron Chapin, Vice President Jeff Ney, and Treasurer Rachael West are joined by PSEA Government Relations experts Dan Wiedemer and Kelli Thompson to hash over the details of what this budget means for PSEA members.

(24 min. runtime)

Key basic education funding in the FY 2024-25 proposed budget:

  • Basic education funding increase.
    Nearly $1.1 billion
  • School infrastructure improvements.
    $300 million
  • Special education funding increase.
    $50 million
  • Student teacher stipend increase.
    $5 million

PSEA Member Allyson Morcom attends Gov. Shapiro's Budget Proposal as Guest

PSEA Member Adam Oldham attends Gov. Shapiro's Budget Proposal as Guest

The “higher education blueprint” includes:

  • Unified governance system for state system universities and community colleges.
  • Ultimately capping tuition at $1,000 per semester for students from families making at or below the median family income.
  • State System of Higher Education and community college funding increase. +$125 million

Testimony and Reports

November 09, 2023

PSEA President Aaron Chapin testifies to Basic Education Funding Commission in public hearing

PSEA president: Basic Ed Funding Commission report is a significant step forward, fixing the public school funding system must be a top priority

In the Press

February 08, 2024

PA Capital-Star: Pennsylvania reacts to Shapiro’s budget address

February 06, 2024

Washington Observer-Reporter: Lawmakers, organizations offer mixed reaction to Shapiro budget proposal

February 06, 2024

PennLive: Shapiro calls for historic $1 billion increase for public schools

February 05, 2024

Fox 43: Pa. public schools face funding challenges ahead of Shapiro budget address

November 29, 2023

Op-Ed: Pa. must adopt clear, sustainable plan to address unconstitutional school funding

January 24, 2024

Spotlight PA: Long-sought charter school changes on the table as Pa. lawmakers plot education funding overhaul

January 21, 2024

LNP/Lancaster Online Editorial: It’s long past time for Pa. to fund public schools fairly

January 17, 2024

Lancaster Online Op-Ed: Basic education funding report is just the end of the beginning

January 13, 2024

Indiana Gazette: Local officials react to education commission recommendations

January 11, 2024

PennLive: Blueprint for changing Pa. school funding system draws partisan divide

January 11, 2024

Associated Press: Democrats’ education funding report says Pa. owes $5B more to school districts

January 11, 2024

Spotlight PA: Pa. needs to spend $5.4B to close gap between rich and poor schools, report advanced by Dems says