On the same day that Gov. Tom Wolf called for an additional $377 million K-12 funding for schools this budget year and another $200 million for next year, a report card issued by a national advocacy group gave Pennsylvania a “C” grade for school finance.
The Network for Public Education, co-founded by education activist Diane Ravitch, released its first 50-state report card that issued grades based on six criteria, with school finance being one of them.
NPE advocates for funding equity in an effort to fight poverty’s effects on students’ education and against high-stakes testing and educational alternatives to traditional public schools.
To determine how effectively states funded schools, it considered three factors: per-pupil expenditures, resources spent on education in relation to a state’s ability to pay and equitable funding across the state.
The equitable funding measure considered whether each state’s funding system “recognizes the additional resources required for students in settings of concentrated student poverty.”
States that provided more funding to high-poverty districts received higher grades.
Pennsylvania’s grade of C was lower than that of neighboring states New York and Ohio, which received “B” grades, and New Jersey, which received the only “A” in the school finance category. Maryland also received a “C.”
In total, 10 percent of states received “Bs” in school finance, 36 percent “Cs” and 42 percent “Ds.”
Mary Niederberger: firstname.lastname@example.org.