Parkland Calls for More Public Education Funding

The Parkland School Board will vote Tuesday on a resolution that would urge Gov. Tom Corbett and state lawmakers to increase funding for public education.

Editor's Note: This story was updated on Wednesday and reflects the Parkland School Board vote.

In the wake of cuts to public education, the Parkland School Board on Tuesday night voted on a resolution to urge Gov. Tom Corbett and state lawmakers to increase funding for public education in the 2012-2013 school year and to restore earlier cuts to funding.

A copy of the resolution is available on Parkland's website.

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association had supplied school districts in the state with a sample resolution. Parkland school board member Roberta Marcus said Wednesday the resolution passed by the board was similar.

Steve Robinson, director of publications and public relations for the school boards association, said, “There are quite a number of districts adopting something like this. Resolutions are a way to formally be on the record, to take a position.”

According to the resolution, the proposed state budget for the 2012-2013 school year:

* Maintains basic education funding at 2008-2009 levels.

* Does not provide any additional money for special education for the fourth consecutive year even though such mandated costs continue to rise.

* Eliminates the Accountability Block Grant program.

* Does not restore money lost in the 2011-2012 budget for charter school reimbursements and other programs.

The resolution also says that a reduction in state funding shifts the burden of basic education costs to local taxpayers.

The resolution will be sent to the governor and local members of the General Assembly, calling for the increase in funding in public education.

The proposed action comes three weeks after a public forum with state lawmakers held at Lehigh Carbon Community College. At the forum, area residents expressed concern over Corbett's proposed education funding, according to a report in The Morning Call. 

There has been debate over whether Corbett's proposed budget increases or decreases funding for public education.

Part of that is due to Corbett's proposal for a new funding formula that would combine basic education funding, student transportation reimbursements and employee Social Security into one allocation, according to a report in the Express-Times. The Pennsylvania State Education Association has referred to the new block grant as an "accounting gimmick" that appears to increase funding but does not. 

Parkland school officials are planning as a way to balance its 2012-2013 school budget in the face of declining revenues. The district  up to 3.67 percent after receiving state permission, or special exceptions, to raise taxes above the state-mandated index of 1.7 percent because of costs outside of its control.

Patch contributor Mary Youtz contributed to this report.

Parkland is a money drain March 27, 2012 at 01:37 PM
the current budget of 12,000 dollars per student shows the school board should be tightening their belts and looking at the budget harder rather than asking for a hand out, parkland is not a welfare institution
ted.dobracki March 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Wishing or lobbying for 50% average state funding (or any other increase) for public education would certainly be counter productive financially for residents of PSD. That is because the basic state subsidy is distributed on a sliding scale based on a schools district's wealth, with richer districts like PSD getting much less than the average. If the basic state education subsidy is increased, even more dollars will leave PSD through increased state taxes than would come back to PSD for supporting its own schools. The money has to come from somewhere. While this analysis takes a very parochial viewpoint, it is none the less a fact. However to take the other side, even those without a socilaist bent might argue that greater redistribution of funding to poorer districts might have social benefits that might be good for all of us in the hope and that this could help Parkland inedirectly over the long haul. But be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!


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