All Washington County school districts would see large funding cuts under the governor’s proposal
HARRISBURG – Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) today vowed to fight for Washington County against plans to change the way public schools are funded.
Gov. Tom Wolf announced recently that he wants to distribute 100 percent of the state’s Basic Education Funding through the revised Basic Education formula. Currently, only new money added since 2015-16 is allocated this way. This current method protects slow or no-growth school districts and uses a funding year baseline, set at 2014 funding levels, that prevents school districts from being penalized financially for declining enrollment. If the governor’s policy change is implemented, 357 school districts of the state’s 500 would see moderate to large education state funding cuts.
According to O’Neal, Philadelphia would be one of the big benefactors of this change, receiving a $344 million boost.
“Where would that money come from?” O’Neal asked. “In total, $1.2 billion would be shifted from 357 losing districts to 143 ‘winner’ districts, and many of those losing districts are here in western Pennsylvania. This proposal, announced without warning, shortchanges our kids, our schools and our taxpayers.”
House Appropriations Committee data shows the plan would drastically cut state education dollars to every school district in Washington County. More specifically, schools within the 48th Legislative District would see proposed decreases of:
• Canon-McMillan – 15 percent.
• Chartiers-Houston – 55 percent.
• Trinity – 44 percent.
• Washington – 22 percent.
“The citizens of Washington County pay state income and sales taxes just like those living in other parts of the state,” O’Neal said. “You can be sure I will fight this plan, and fight it hard because we deserve better.”
The 48th Legislative District in Washington County includes the city of Washington; Chartiers, North Franklin, North Strabane and South Strabane townships; and Canonsburg, East Washington and Houston boroughs.
A full listing of the proposed Basic Education Funding Formula distributions using 2018-19 data is here
Representative Tim O’Neal
48th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tracy Polovick