For today, the good news:
The State Budget allocated an additional $2.5 million for Basic Education Funding to our District. At the July 9 School Board meeting, it was recommended to the Board by administration that UDSD use the unexpected increase to replenish the District’s Fund balance.
In the 2013-2014 UDSD Final Budget, the Fund was to be spent down by $2.5 million to balance the budget. The State’s 2013-2014 additional allocation of $2.5 million comes from the same source in the State Budget, as did the additional $2 million allocation UDSD received in the 2012-2013 budget season. Like the 2012-2013 additional allocation, this year’s additional allocation is also expected to be a recurring allocation to UDSD.
For tomorrow, a better way?
Some have suggested that the way to take the politics out of school funding is to go back to a “funding formula”. The idea is that while a formula may also be manipulated, at least there is an objective and clear standard which is used to allocate funds and avoids a yearly political battle.
Here is part of what the Education Law Center has written on the subject:
“States throughout the country have implemented sound funding formulas designed to accurately, fairly, and transparently identify costs and distribute critical education funding to their school districts.
Pennsylvania has gone in the opposite direction.The state currently has no system for accurately, fairly, and transparently identifying costs and distributing education dollars.
It’s time for that to change. It’s time for Pennsylvania to become a national leader in the development and implementation of a sound education funding formula that addresses real classroom costs, meets real student needs, and builds successful schools and successful communities.
Anything less puts the future of the Commonwealth’s students and communities at risk.”