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Pennsylvania is a national outlier when it comes to following basic budgeting principles — accuracy, fairness, and transparency — that most states use when it comes to public school funding, according to a new report from the Education Law Center.
The statewide, non-profit organization examined how each of the 50 states calculates and distributes education dollars. The report shows that Pennsylvania is in the minority when it comes to basic budgeting practices used by most states.
• 47 states use an accurate student count when calculating and distributing education dollars. Pennsylvania does not.
• 37 states recognize different student costs when calculating and distributing education dollars. Pennsylvania does not.
• 47 states recognize different district costs when calculating and distributing education dollars. Pennsylvania does not.
"Without an accurate, fair, and transparent system for calculating and distributing education dollars, we're going to have a very difficult time — as public school parents, as taxpayers, as business leaders — knowing if our state is providing an adequate amount of resources to match student and district needs," said Education Law Center Executive Director Rhonda Brownstein. "In other words, is the right amount of money going to the right place — and can legislators and the public see it? In Pennsylvania, the current answer is no."