House Education Committee advances bill to ensure equitable, quality education for PA children

HARRISBURG, June 4 – The Pennsylvania House Education Committee today approved legislation that would bring adequacy, equity and stability to Pennsylvania’s education funding system.

“Today, we cleared the first major hurdle to restructure how we fund our public schools and ensure very child in the commonwealth has a quality education,” said House Education Committee Majority Chairman Peter Schweyer. “The Pennsylvania Constitution makes it crystal clear about providing a thorough and efficient public education. With this bill, every kid who works hard would have the tools they need to succeed.”

State Rep. Mike Sturla, who served as Co-Chair of the Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC), sponsored the legislation.

“I thank the House Education Committee for reporting out my legislation today that would implement certain recommendations of the BEFC’s Majority Report,” said Sturla (D-Lancaster). “This bill would set us on the right path to meet our constitutional duty of providing an adequate and equitable public education system in Pennsylvania.”

Sturla added, his legislation would provide the following:

2024/25 Increases:

    • $728 million for chronically underfunded schools.
    • $665 million in cyber charter savings.
    • $200 million so every school district receives an increase.
    • $136 million in property tax relief.

7-Year Totals:

    • $5.1 billion for chronically underfunded schools.
    • $4.6 billion in cyber charter savings.
    • $1.4 billion through the fair funding formula for all public schools.
    • $955 million in property tax relief.

“For too long, taxpayers have been overburdened while schools and students have ended up being short-changed,” said Rep. Mary Isaacson (D-Phila), who serves on the House Education Committee and was also appointed to the BEFC along with Chairs Sturla and Schweyer.  “What we just voted out of committee today brings equity for all schools, accountability and transparency for cyber charters and much-needed relief for taxpayers.”

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.