Mastriano Education Funding Cuts

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Mastriano School Funding Cuts Explained

During a March 2022 WRTA radio interview, gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano said that Pennsylvania should reduce per-student school funding by $10,000 annually. He has also called for the complete elimination of local school property taxes.

This extreme proposal would be devastating to Pennsylvania’s public schools and 1.7 million students. Imagine a public education system with half the teachers, counselors, nurses, and support staff who teach and serve our students.

A devastating impact on public schools

Pennsylvanians deserve to have some idea what a proposal like this would mean for the commonwealth's public schools. PSEA has called on Sen. Mastriano to provide details about his plan. So far, he hasn’t.

In the absence of any details from Sen. Mastriano, PSEA took his proposal and estimated funding cuts, job losses, and increases in student-to-teacher ratios for every Pennsylvania:

  • Public school district
  • Charter school
  • Career and tech center
  • Intermediate unit

PSEA's analysis includes:

  1. A tab labeled "ByCounty" that permits you to search for school districts in each of Pennsylvania's 67 counties;
  2. A tab labeled "All_LEA" that lists alphabetically every school district, charter school, career and tech center, and intermediate unit. This data may be sorted by any data point; and
  3. A tab labeled “Source” that discusses the data sources and methodology.

Some key findings

$12.75 Billion Cut in School Funding

More than $12 billion — 33% of all funding — would be cut from public schools' budgets, resulting in staff layoffs, increased class sizes, and lost opportunities for students.

49% of Jobs Lost in Public Schools

118,704 fewer educators, school nurses, school counselors, aides, bus drivers, cafeteria cooks, and other critical school employees will be available to work with students.

Student-to-Teacher Ratios Double

Student-to-teacher ratios would increase by 109%, coming at the expense of efforts to close learning gaps and address student health needs.

More than half ...

of Pennsylvania's public school districts would see declines in revenue of 35% or more under Doug Mastriano's extreme school funding proposal.

A note about methodology

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.

In the News

Philly Inquirer: 70 Pa. school board members have signed a letter against Doug Mastriano’s public education plan

PennLive: Doug Mastriano’s plan threatens public education, school board members say in letter

Forbes: Doug Mastriano Wants To Defund Public Education In Pennsylvania

Pa. Capital-Star: Mastriano’s education funding plan would devastate Pa.’s public schools, advocates say

PennLive: PSEA calls GOP gubernatorial candidate Mastriano’s school funding plan ‘completely irresponsible’

York Dispatch: York County could lose nearly 4K teachers under Mastriano's plan: PSEA

The Patch: Teachers Decry 'Extreme' $12 Billion Cuts in Mastriano Education Plan

WFMZ: Pa. education association weighs in on gubernatorial candidate Mastriano's plan to change how schools are funded

Lehigh Valley Live: PSEA calls GOP gubernatorial candidate Mastriano’s school funding plan ‘completely irresponsible’

The Progress: Local school districts could lose 29% to 47% of funding

Members speak out across the Commonwealth (Press Conferences)

During the week of Sept. 12, PSEA held a series of 12 press conferences throughout the state where we teamed up with concerned educators to highlight the negative impact Doug Mastriano’s proposed spending cuts would have on their districts and communities.

The turnout for each of the events was excellent, showing the depth of concern educators across the state are expressing for Sen. Mastriano’s plan, which would cut public education funding by $12.75 billion statewide.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Analysis from Pa. teachers group shows 'terrifying' results from Mastriano education funding plan

WTAE-TV: PSEA warns Mastriano's described funding cuts would 'obliterate' public schools

Centre Daily Times: PSEA, State College educators warn against Doug Mastriano’s plans for education funding

Fox 43: State educators to gather at Cousler Park in York County to discuss Doug Mastriano's education plan

WJET-TV/Fox 66: PSEA calls out Mastriano for education plan

Erie Now: PSEA Panel Discussed Senator Mastriano's Public School Funding Proposal

Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: PSEA treasurer predicts ‘devastating’ results from candidate’s school funding plans in meeting with local teachers

WJPA: PSEA Campaigns Against Plan Proposed By Mastriano

WJAC: PSEA visits with local teachers to discuss impact of Mastriano's plan to cut funding