Views on 'Equity' Clash In New Pa. School Funding Formula

May 27, 2016

 

A student raises his hand at Isaac Sheppard School in Philadelphia.
Credit Jessica Kourkounis

Education advocates across Pennsylvania are celebrating the fact that the state is about to commit to a new student weighted formula for distributing state aid.

But not everyone is happy.

One advocacy group says proceeding as planned will continue to shortchange many school districts.

For the past few weeks, Kelly Lewis has been crisscrossing the state trying to help certain school districts understand just how unfairly they've treated by the state for the past 25 years.

At an Irish bar on the main drag in Wilkes-Barre, he spoke to a smattering of parents and business leaders.

"What happened is, districts that saw population increases, like the Poconos — Pocono Mountain, East Stroudsburg, Stroudsburg, they grew tremendously over the last 25 years — they didn't get one red cent," he said. "City school districts saw poverty levels go up tremendously; they didn't get one red cent for an increase in poverty."

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Keystone Crossroads is a new statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a participating station.