Advocates rally for reform bills to save millions in school taxes

The Reporter by Evan Brandt, June 13, 2022

PERKIOMEN — Legislators, school superintendents, school board members and education advocates joined a press conference at Perkiomen Valley’s Evergreen Elementary School to advocate for charter school and school funding reform to stem property tax increases in Pennsylvania. State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-146th Dist., is proposing bills to relieve cost pressures on public schools and lowering property taxes through changes in how school funding is distributed, reforming the charter school law, and making a significant one-time investment toward school pension liabilities. Ciresi has introduced legislation to give public schools the support they need and provide meaningful property tax relief: H.B. 1595 would fully implement the fair funding formulas for basic and special education, better aligning funding to current needs. In 2016, the General Assembly established the student-weighted Basic Education Funding formula to direct money to school districts based on certain factors that include student enrollment, student population needs, wealth of the school district, and more. Similarly, the Special Education Funding formula, established in 2014-15, directs state dollars to districts that have the greatest need for additional resources based on the cost of each special education student. Each formula allows districts to have more transparency and predictability on funding.

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