Basic Education Funding Commission

What is the Basic Education Funding Commission

The official 2023 BEF Commission website can be found here.

The Commission is a bipartisan group of state officials who are tasked with making recommendations about how to improve our system of funding public education.

The work of this Commission is an important part of addressing the Commonwealth Court decision in William Penn School District, et al. v. Pennsylvania Department of Education et al. In that case, Judge Jubelirer found that the General Assembly has failed to meet our constitutional duty to provide a “thorough and efficient system of public education” by both underfunding and unfairly funding public schools across Pennsylvania.

In order to fulfill our constitutional obligation, Pennsylvania public schools must have both adequate and equitable resources – like smaller class sizes, up-to-date textbooks, and safe school buildings – so that every child has a meaningful opportunity to succeed academically, socially, and civically.

History

The original BEF Commission was established in June of 2014. Its recommendations led to the enactment of the current Basic Education Funding Formula in 2015. You can download a copy of the last Commission’s full report, watch its hearings, and learn more about the 2014 Commission on their website.

The Commission was scheduled to reconvene five years later in 2020, but was postponed with a new due date of November 30, 2023 for its next report.

Current Commission Membership

The BEF Commission is made of 15 members— 4 Education Committee chairs, plus 2 additional legislators each from the four General Assembly Caucuses (House Democrats, House Republicans, Senate Republicans, and Senate Democrats), plus 3 members of the Administration.

BEFC Membership (15 members – 3 from each caucus and 3 from the administration)
           May 2023 Commission
Education Chairs *  
   House Democrat Rep. Pete Schweyer
   House Republican Rep. Jesse Topper
   Senate Republican Sen. David Argall
   Senate Democrat Sen. Lindsey Williams
At-Large (appointed by Speaker and Pro-Tempore in consultation with Caucus leaders)
   House Democrat Rep. Mike Sturla (Co-Chair)
   House Democrat Rep. Mary Isaacson
   House Republican Rep. Jason Ortitay
   House Republican Rep. Ryan Warner
   Senate Democrat Sen. Vincent Hughes
   Senate Democrat Sen. Nick Miller
   Senate Republican Sen. Kristin Philips-Hill (Co-Chair)
   Senate Republican Sen. Greg Rothman
Administration  
   PDE Secretary * Dr. Khalid Mumin
(designee Marcus Delgado)
   PDE Deputy Secretary for Elementary and
Secondary Education *
Jeffrey Fuller
(designee Angela Fitterer)
   Gov. appointee from within administration Natalie Krug
(Budget Office)
* denotes a designee may serve

Basic Education Funding Commission Hearings

The BEF Commission will hold hearings and receive testimony on the current system of funding public education and what improvements can be made. At the end of this process, the Commission is expected to issue a report with recommendations. The General Assembly will then have to take legislative action to put any or all of these recommendations in place for the students and families of Pennsylvania.

The current schedule for the Basic Education Funding Commission Hearings is:

September 12 in Allentown (Agenda) (Testimony)

September 13 in Harrisburg (Agenda) (Testimony)

September 14 in Philadelphia (Agenda) (Testimony)

September 21 in Lancaster (Agenda) (Testimony)

September 28 in Hanover (Agenda) (Testimony)

October 5 in Hazleton (Agenda) (Testimony)

October 11 in Pittsburgh (Agenda) (Testimony)

October 12 in Lemont Furnace (Agenda) (Testimony)

November 2 in Enola (Agenda) (Testimony)

November 9 in Bedford (Agenda) (Testimony)

Hearing details and agendas will be announced closer to the dates. The public can submit comments to be entered into the record via the Contact Us section of the commission’s website: basiceducationfundingcommission.com.

Videos of BEF Commission hearings and all testimony received will be shared on this website so that you can follow along.

Basic Education Funding Commission – 10/5/23

The Basic Education Funding Commission met to hear testimonies that will include input from School Directors and educational needs of English Language Learners.


Agenda & Testimony

Agenda

Pennsylvania School Boards Association

AIA PA

Hazleton School District

La Casa Dominicana de Hazleton Inc.

Hazleton Integration Project

Basic Education Funding Commission – 9/28/23

The Basic Education Funding Commission met to hear testimonies including the discussion of trends in basic education funding formula factors.


Basic Education Funding Commission – 9/13/23

The Basic Education Funding Commission met to hear testimonies on the Commonwealth Court’s ruling that PA’s school funding system is unconstitutional and how other states are handling school funding.


Basic Education Funding Commission – 9/12/23

The Basic Education Funding Commission met to hear testimonies on a new study regarding adequate school funding, perspective of local superintendents, and school facilities’ environmental impact.


Basic Education Funding Commission – 6/7/23

The Basic Education Funding Commission held a public hearing to review a presentation provided by the PA Department of Education on the basic education funding formula.


Basic Education Funding Commission – 5/10/23

The Basic Education Funding Commission held met to introduce members, elect co-chairs, and Review of BEFC, Pursuant to Section 123 of the Public School Code

News

Sen. Lindsey Williams Releases Statement Following BEFC Vote Today

Sen. Lindsey Williams Releases Statement Following BEFC Vote Today

Harrisburg, Pa. − January 11, 2024 − Senator Lindsey M. Williams released this statement today, following her vote on the Basic Education Funding Commission Report. A full copy of the report, Senator Williams’ remarks, and all Commission hearings and materials...