Categories Op/Ed

Letter to the Editor: State Should Pay Same Amount Per Pupil All Over Pennsylvania

letter, LTE

I am going to start with my understanding of public education. Education is a function of the state. Local school board members are state officers. The state grants some control to local communities and the state funding is to equalize educational opportunities.

The equalization has to do with state subsidies to local districts. In my mind it is a convoluted system that could be simplified and have equality achieved. Distribute the money on a per-pupil basis that ensures that all students in the state are funded equally. The school district ranked second in spending spends $17,049 per pupil, while the lowest-ranked district spends just $6,324 per pupil, according to a report posted on Pennlive.com.

I don’t see how state officers in Harrisburg and on local boards can continue to accept such a discrepancy in spending directly affecting students and their futures.

To help clarify the figures, the report, based on the 201516 school year, states; “To be clear, instructional costs are arrived at by stripping away transportation costs, debtservice and other ancillary expenses a district incurs. It includes teacher salaries,benefits, classroom supplies and other direct costs associated with educating students.”

There is lots more that could be said on the issue, but it is safe to say the I believe our legislators are ignoring an appropriate fix. This disparity has been going on for many years and it seems to be ignored by legislators and teachers unions. A state should treat all equally.

GENE NEWCOMER

Mount Joy

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