This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Despite Gov. Rendell’s and the state’s recent efforts to bring districts closer to their adequacy targets, the wide disparities in spending among districts have not closed very much since the new formula was adopted, although some districts, like Philadelphia and William Penn, are seeing their state share relative to local property taxes increase.
Districts like Lower Merion have so much local property wealth that it is already spending much more than the adequacy target calls for. Despite making some economies in the past year, Lower Merion has not lost ground and is still exceeding its adequacy target by more than $5,000 per pupil.
Districts with lower tax bases continue to tax themselves heavily but have made little progress in reaching their adequacy targets.