DELAWARE COUNTY, PA – January 12, 2024 – On January 11, the Basic Education Funding Commission held a hearing and voted 8-7 to approve the 2024 Basic Education Funding Report.
Below, you can find Senator Tim Kearney’s (D-Delaware) statement following the outcome of the hearing and its report:
I applaud the Basic Education Funding Commission’s decision to approve the 2024 Basic Education Funding Report. The approval is a significant step forward and signifies a shared commitment to rectify long-standing inequities that have inflicted unimaginable challenges on our less affluent school districts.
I am pleased the report highlights the need to fund maintenance needs for schools and to see funding allocated for the repair of school facilities. This aligns with my advocacy for the PlanCon legislation. However, it is imperative to stress that while this is a positive step, future and sustained investments in school facilities are crucial to adequately address failing school infrastructure.
The report reaffirms the Commonwealth Court’s ruling in William Penn School District, et al. v. Pennsylvania Department of Education, et al., a decision deeming our system of funding public education unconstitutional.
I am cautiously optimistic about the direction the legislature is taking in addressing these systemic issues. While acknowledging that progress is being made, I recognize that our work is far from complete. The journey toward creating a new education funding formula will surely have its own challenges. I remain hopeful that my colleagues and I will usher in a new era of fair funding that will speak to a system of inclusion that benefits all students, regardless of their ZIP code.
I look forward to more bipartisan collaboration and dialogue to ensure our public education system is funded fairly and adheres to the state constitution. We are on the cusp of a new era in education funding for our state, an environment where every student can thrive, and I am proud to be a part of the legislature that will get it done.