Recent Posts

Don’t Let Climate Change Alarmism Ruin Your Future

 FREEDOMOUTPOST [The following was written by Jerry Newcombe and originally appeared at  It has been reprinted with permission.] Many people ...

Read More

Dems Declare Pro-lifers Percent Non Grata

FRC Action There are politicians who base their decisions on polling -- and others who just do what's right. Then, there are the ...

Read More

House conservatives want information on TSA policies for undocumented immigrants

© Getty Images BY JULIEGRACE BRUFKE /thehill A group of House conservatives is seeking details on Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policies for screening ...

Read More

Why the Dems’ Push to Give Illegal Aliens the Power to Nullify American Votes Is So Dangerous

BORDER SECURITY Opinion piece: In New York and elsewhere, the true purpose of the Green Light Bill is nothing short of ...

Read More


Democrats Were the Party of Segregation Years Ago, and they Still Are Today

BY MATT MARGOLIS /PJM Attempting to block integration at the University of Alabama, Governor George Wallace stands defiantly at the door while being confronted ...

Read More

Alex Acosta’s Team ‘Bent Over Backwards’ For Accused Child Sex Trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, 2007 Letter Said

DCwire By Daily Caller Peter Hasson /The Political Insider A U.S. attorney’s office under Alex Acosta “bent over backwards” for Jeffrey Epstein, Acosta’s ...

Read More

Revealed! Epstein Hanging Out With LIBERAL Celebs After 2008 Conviction

Follow CollinRugg Politics , Source: hollywoodreporter, /Trending Politics Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was recently arrested for sex trafficking minors and recent revelations show just ...

Read More

RECUSE YOURSELF: Epstein Judge, Who Locked Up Dinesh D’Souza, Was Appointed By Bill Clinton

By Patrick Howley /Big League Politics The U.S. District Court Judge presiding over the Jeffrey Epstein child trafficking case was appointed to ...

Read More


WND Contradicts former president's claim this week Jeffrey Epstein’s Little St. James Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands A woman who accused Jeffrey ...

Read More

Juanita Broaddrick: Bill Clinton’s Denials on Relationship With Epstein ‘Worthless’

News Commentary By Rusty | Featured Contributor |The Political Insider Juanita Broaddrick, a former nursing home employee who accused Bill Clinton of raping her decades ...

Read More

Latest News


State Senator Lisa Boscola’s OP-ED on School Funding Formula

Boscola Bulletin

Facebook Follow Me on Twitter

Antiquated Basic Education Funding Formula is Hurting Lehigh Valley Homeowners and Students

Op-Ed Column by State Senator Lisa Boscola

The Basic Education Funding Formula is the single largest education funding stream in the commonwealth’s budget. Until 2014, each year when the General Assembly passed a budget it distributed basic education funding dollars to our school districts based on what they received the year before — regardless of whether the student population grew or shrank. This led to large Education Funding

disparities throughout the state when it came to where money went versus where it was needed. Some school districts received over 70 percent of their funding for their school programs from the state while other school districts received as low as 30 percent. As you can imagine this led to significant inequality in property tax burdens for homeowners.

In 2016, the Legislature adopted a Basic Education Funding Formula to more equitably distribute state resources according to actual needs. The new formula includes factors reflecting student and community differences such as poverty, local effort and capacity, and rural and small district conditions. While the funding formula was met with universal praise, its implementation has been remarkably disappointing especially to areas like the Lehigh Valley. The formula was not applied to the dollars that the state was already spending on schools, but only to new additional dollars allocated after the formula was adopted. Last year only 8 percent of our basic education dollars were distributed through the formula. As a result, Lehigh Valley homeowners continue to be overburdened and our students shortchanged.

This year’s proposed budget isn’t much better. Only $700 million of the $6.54 billion dollars budgeted for Basic Education, about 11 percent, will be distributed to school districts pursuant to the new formula. The remaining $5.8 billion is set to be distributed based on the allocation used prior to the 2014 budget everyone acknowledges is woefully inadequate. Essentially, 11 percent of our budgeted education dollars get where they are needed.

Presently, the Lehigh Valley’s two largest School districts, Allentown and Bethlehem, are underfunded by $100 million dollars. There are many school districts getting millions of dollars more than they are entitled to according to the formula and therefore property taxes remain lower in those areas. It is not fair that our property taxes are higher because we are not getting our fair share of education dollars. In fact, eight of the nine school districts in my senatorial district are underfunded totaling over 40 million dollars, which means our area school districts are left with a difficult decision: either raise local property taxes or cut staff and limit educational programs and opportunities for students. Both choices are unacceptable when the state is not doing its fair share. Remember, these are not one-time revenues, but recurrent dollars.

Whereas I have been advocating for implementing the new fair funding formula for all funds now, I understand that some school districts would lose money. Therefore, I put forward a plan that recognizes the political reality of elected officials voting to reduce money to their school districts with the need to speed up the implementation of the Basic Education formula. My proposal (Senate Bill 362) recognizes that this cannot be done overnight but needs to be done more quickly. My bill gradually reallocates the state’s basic education funding dollars over a four-year period — broken down into 25 percent increments. It would require that an additional 25 percent of the baseline dollars go through the new basic education funding formula along with newly allocated dollars, until all basic education dollars are distributed under the formula.

There is nothing “fair” about the current system. It’s not fair to our homeowners who have to pay more than they should. It is not fair to our students who are being shorted the money due their schools. And, it’s not fair to our teachers and administrators who are trying to make do with inadequate funding.

I remain a proud and outspoken proponent of eliminating homeowner property taxes and replacing them with a combination of sales and personal incomes tax increases. However, it doesn’t make sense to eliminate property taxes if those dollars won’t be allocated according to the new fairer funding formula.

Coincidentally, this year is the first time the Basic Education Formula is required to be reviewed to evaluate its effectiveness. What exactly will this review conclude about the effectiveness of the new funding formula when only about 11 percent of our basic education funding dollars are actually allocated in accordance with it? How can we ever know if we are funding our schools adequately if we do not put the money where we know it belongs?

The bottom line is simple. We must find a quicker and more effective way to push money through the new fairer funding formula. Our students deserve it, our homeowners deserve it and our teachers and schools need it.


Facebook Twitter

Join the Conversation on Facebook and Twitter

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and updates.

Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
1701 Washington Blvd.
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-5627
(610) 250-5629
Fax: (610) 250-1889
458 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203018
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
(717) 787-4236
Fax: (717) 783-1257
Senate of PA:
1-800-364-158 (TTY

Comments are closed.


Please take our reader satisfaction poll. Please select one from each part.

View Results