Basic Education Funding

In June 2015, the Basic Education Funding Commission unanimously recommended a new basic education funding (BEF) formula for the distribution of new BEF dollars. The new formula was codified in Act 25 of 2016 and was  used to drive out the $150 million increase in BEF for 2015-16 and the $200 million increase in 2016-17. Using 2014-15 as a base year and holding all districts harmless at those funding levels, going forward all school districts will get a share of the BEF above the base year as determined by their student population and other school district demographic factors. 

The proposed formula begins with a student count, includes weights for students living in poverty, English Language Learners and charter school students, provides an adjustments for small, rural school districts, a local wealth adjustment and a local tax effort and capacity adjustment.

The Commission, which was co-chaired by Sen. Patrick Browne and Rep. Mike Vereb, consisted of 12 legislators and 3 administration officials, and was tasked with making recommendations on the development of a new basic education funding formula and identifying the factors that should be used to determine the distribution of basic education funding to school districts. 

The Commission held hearings across the state, taking testimony from stakeholders on all aspects of education funding. 

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