Pennsylvania Ranks Worst in Education Funding Inequality

Waslala Miranda |

The Washington Post ran a story on March 12 about unequal education funding between the haves and have-nots in America.  Because children in low-income families have greater needs, the schools they attend require more funding to give them a fair chance at educational success.  However, 23 states give low-income schools less state and local funding than the wealthiest of school districts, fueling even more inequality.

Figure: Washington Post analysis.

Pennsylvania ranks the worst by far among states in this inequity. Pennsylvania also is one of just three states without a predictable funding formula for basic education. The Campaign for Fair Education Funding, of which the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is a member, has proposed a student-driven funding formula that strategically directs resources to students and school districts with the greatest needs and provides the investment necessary to enable every child to succeed academically.

Governor Tom Wolf has also proposed a funding formula and a significant investment in basic education in his 2015-16 state budget plan.