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House passes education funding bill

January 22, 2014

HARRISBURG, PA — Rep. Mario Scavello on January 20 voted with 187 of his colleagues in favor of House Bill 1738, which would establish a commission to study and recommend a new formula for distributing state funding to basic education. Scavello is a co-sponsor of the bill.

“The current funding formula just doesn’t work for so many schools across the state,” Scavello said. “Any new funding formula would be developed in coordination with leaders from school districts across the state, making sure it is reflective of Pennsylvania’s student population.”

Under the bill, members of the commission would be tasked with developing a formula that accounts for each district’s personal income aid ratio, geographic price differences, enrollment levels, local support and other factors.

The commission would be expected to issue a report of its findings one year from the date of enactment. A series of public hearings would be held on the changes, if the bill eventually becomes law. Any recommendations of the commission cannot become law unless enacted by the legislature.

“Insufficient state funding has already led to increases in property taxes for many school districts and has worsened the already unfair property tax system in our area,” Scavello added. “It is important that the legislature would have to approve any recommendations, because past changes enacted by the executive branch have made the situation worse.”

The bill now goes to the senate for consideration.