The state’s new funding formula gives local district a boost
By Sean P. Ray Titusville Herald Staff Writer Posted: Saturday, August 5, 2017 5:00 am
The Basic Education Funding Formula, passed last summer by the state, is undergoing a trial by fire as school districts adapt to their new levels of state funding. So how did Titusville Area School District make out? According to Business Manager Shawn Sampson, things are looking pretty bright. The school saw a 1.1-percent increase in state funding for this fiscal year. While this is lower than the 2.6-percent increase from last year, Sampson had nothing but praise for the formula. “I think that this formula is the best I’ve seen in years to drive out dollars where they’re needed,” Sampson said. The formula determines the level of state funding a school receives based on numerous factors, including number of minority students, sparsity of population, ability to raise money from taxes, among others. Sampson said this metric ensures a school receives a steady and predictable amount of funding, and better reflects the reality of each district’s situation. “If you’re a school district like us, or Warren County or, especially, Forest county and your students are all spread out, there’s a cost to bringing them all to school,” he said. “The formula accounts for that cost.” The formula, which enjoyed wide bipartisan support, came into being after Pennsylvania was declared as having the highest public school funding gap in the nation in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Gov. Tom Wolf has repeatedly supported increased funding for education, his 2017-18 budget calling for a 1.7-percent increase in basic education funding, and a 2.3-percent increase in special education funding.
However, not all schools are enjoying the formula. According to a recent article in the Journal, of Corry, the Corry Area School District received drastically less funding under the formula than before.
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