Lawmakers in Harrisburg have often sought in the past to portray Philadelphia’s public school funding problems as being unique to the state’s largest city.
Even after the state’s decades-old takeover of the city’s public schools, the district’s budget deficits are still portrayed as a local problem.
But a new report by school officials and administrators shows that the district’s financial woes are not unique to the big city, but a problem across the state.
Two statewide groups representing school managers said rising costs and shrinking state and federal aid at Pennsylvania’s public schools are exacerbating an all-too-familiar pattern of property—tax increases, school program cutbacks and employee layoffs.
The report by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators and the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials included responses from 279 of the state’s 500 school districts, ranging in size from Philadelphia to some of the smaller districts.