PA searching for fair school-funding system

MERCER COUNTY, Pa. (WYTV) – Currently Pennsylvania is one of three states in the country without an equation for dishing out money to schools.

“We really never know from year to year what our funding is going to be until it’s passed in June or July by the legislature,” Sharon City Schools Superintendent Michael Calla

That’s why in 2014, a 15-member committee called the Basic Education Funding Commission was formed. The group is currently touring the state, hearing from various school districts, and it stopped in Mercer County Thursday.

“It’s an opportunity to share our day-to-day concerns and some ideas creatively,” Greenville Area School District Superintendent Mark Ferrara said. “To maybe have legislators take a look and say, you know, let’s try something different.”

“It makes sure that all districts are on an even playing field, and as I said in my testimony, I never back away or down from a fight,” Sharpsville Area School District Superintendent Brad Ferko said. “So I’m proud of our students, I’m proud of our staff, and put us in an even playing field and you’re going to see tremendous things happen.”

With a lot to consider and a June 10 deadline for presenting a recommendation to the legislature, lawmakers are considering a lot of factors, like enrollment levels and tax efforts into the formula.

“Right now, we’re gathering up information through the independent fiscal office to help us crunch some numbers, assign some weights, and hopefully come up with a recommendation,” Pennsylvania Representative Mark Longietti said.

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