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Shortchanged … on school funding

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

  • Philadelphia, with an enrollment that is mostly low-income and Black and Latino, spends $2,100 less per pupil than the median amount spent in surrounding suburban districts, even though its students have more needs.
  • Pennsylvania contributes barely one-third of local school costs, compared to an average of 50 percent in other states. School districts have to rely on local property taxes to pay for schools, and many property-poor districts cannot raise enough money for quailty education.
  • Despite funding increases in the Rendell administration for such initiatives as preschool and tutoring, Pennsylvania has no consistent, need-based formula for distributing aid to school districts.

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