#PAGov: Does Corbett Think It Was Unfair of Him to Scrap Rendell’s Education Funding Formula?

by Jon Geeting, Keystone Politics, 1/22/14


Tom Corbett is trolling us hard today, calling PA’s state education funding unfair while ignoring his own starring role in making it more unfair.

Lots of voters don’t know this happened, but I’m old enough to remember that we had a fairer funding formula until Tom Corbett got rid of it for no good reason.

During the Ed Rendell administration, a study was released, known to folks in education as the “costing out study.”

What the costing out study said was that state education funding wasn’t taking into consideration important factors like the number of kids in the district getting free or reduced-price lunch, special education, and other factors that would make it more difficult or expensive to educate certain student populations (mainly in urban districts).

So Ed Rendell and the Democrats spent serious political capital creating a fairer education funding formula that did address those things. Remember the “on time budget” talking point Republicans like to use? That won’t make sense to the kids today, but it refers to an Ed Rendell budget that was late – late because Rendell was waiting out the dead-enders in the Republican Party who didn’t want to change the state funding distribution.

In the end the formula passed, and for about a year, PA had a fairer education funding formula. The “costing out” formula was to be phased in over four years, and (mostly) urban districts were in line to get a lot more state money. We got one year of this increased funding in the FY2009-2010 budget, and it was awesome. But then…something happened!…

read more at Keystone Politics


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