This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
A panel will begin studying how Pennsylvania could better allocate money for public education after Gov. Corbett signed legislation establishing the commission this week.
Education funding in Pennsylvania is currently divided and sent to the state’s 500 school districts based on the whim of the Legislature.
Education advocates have been pressing for a rational, data-driven formula that takes into account a district’s actual enrollment numbers and student demographic data – reasoning that impoverished students and English-language learners should receive a greater share of the state’s basic education subsidy.
The legislation, sponsored by State Rep. Bernie O’Neill, R-Bucks, asks lawmakers to study the issue and make a recommendation by next year.
O’Neill did not return requests for comment.
State Budget Secretary Charles Zogby lauded the measure.
"I think there’s fairly broad agreement in Harrisburg that the funding formula needs to be examined," he said.
Although education advocates praised the aims of the new commission, some questioned its necessity.