True Fair Funding for Schools

Your zip code should have nothing to do with education outcomes.

But because Pennsylvania’s funding formula for school districts remains unfair, taxpayers who live in one region may be saddled with higher property taxes. For instance, the Spring-Ford Area School District receives about 17 percent of its funding from the state, while the statewide average is 56 percent. This forces a larger burden on locally-raised taxes.

“If elected to represent the 146th District in Harrisburg, I will fight for a formula that is truly fair,” said Joe Ciresi, the Democratic candidate in the race.

“My opponent talks a lot about ‘historic investments’ in public education, but he voted the party-line for former Gov. Corbett’s devastating budgets,” he said.

A 2014 report by Public Citizens for Children and Youth, a Philadelphia-based group, noted that Pottstown taxpayers were on the hook for an additional $5 million in educational aid because of Corbett’s decision to abandon the funding formula of his predecessor — Ed Rendell.

In fact, the school districts of Pottsgrove, Spring-Ford, Perk Valley and Pottstown were four of the six districts in Montgomery County that lost the most funding due to Corbett’s cuts. These school districts and others were harmed twice by the Republican administration: elimination of the fair funding formula on top of the cuts.

“Tom Quigley stood by and voted for historic cuts in education during the previous administration, to the tune of over $14 million. Don’t believe his spin,” Ciresi said.

Ciresi believes the Legislature must seriously analyze state mandates for public education. Furthermore, every effort should be made to pass budgets on time so that counties, municipalities and school districts can plan operations. Ciresi has pledged to forgo his paycheck if the budget is not passed on time.

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