EDUCATION FUNDING LAWSUIT
In 2014, six Pennsylvania school districts, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools, the NAACP-PA State Conference, and a group of public school parents filed suit in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court against state legislative leaders, state education officials, and the governor for failing to uphold the General Assembly’s constitutional obligation to provide a “thorough and efficient” system of public education. The school districts are: William Penn, Greater Johnstown, Lancaster, Panther Valley, Shenandoah Valley, and Wilkes-Barre Area.
Pennsylvania ranks 45th in the nation for state share of funding for K-12 education. This ranking is a clear and unequivocal measure of the state’s inadequate and inequitable school funding system, which is failing students and local taxpayers and weakening Pennsylvania’s future.
Across Pennsylvania, according to a benchmark written into state law, public schools need $4.6 billion in additional funding to be able to give all of their students a shot at reaching state academic standards.
And 277 districts—urban, suburban, and rural—need more than $2,000 in additional funding per student to reach the funding level they need.
This underfunding isn’t some abstract principle. It determines which kids get what they need, and which kids do not.
It is teachers and counselors. Nurses and librarians. Computers and STEM labs. Art and music. Smaller class sizes and remedial help for children who are struggling to learn. In Pennsylvania, local wealth shapes everything kids need in school to reach.
Pennsylvania is more reliant on local property taxpayers to fund schools than all but six other states, with only 38 percent of funding coming from the state level