Contact Information 

District Office
1555 Highlands Drive
Suite 110
Lititz, PA 17543
Phone:  (717) 626-1776
FAX:  (717) 626-4234

Capitol Office
51A East Wing
PO Box 202097
Harrisburg PA 17120-2097
Phone: (717) 787-1776

E-Mail:  
smentzer@pahousegop.com

Fair Distribution of Education Funding
4/8/2016
Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he was going to allow House Bill 1801, the supplemental budget bill, to become law without his signature. School districts, universities, rural hospitals, critical health programs, children’s advocacy centers, many agriculture initiatives and others that had their funding cut by the governor’s Dec. 29 line-item veto will now receive funding. This officially brings the 2015-16 fiscal year budget to a close.

While the governor is allowing the spending bill to become law without his signature, he did veto the Fiscal Code, House Bill 1327. The Fiscal Code is the legislation that serves as the “roadmap” to state spending. It includes a series of formulas and instructions on how to spend the money that is included in the budget bill. The veto of the Fiscal Code will create many issues.

The major concern with the governor’s veto of the Fiscal Code, is how it will impact the distribution of basic education funding to the Commonwealth’s 500 school districts. The new, fair basic education funding formula was included in the Fiscal Code that passed the Legislature. This formula would drive out nearly $6 billion of state subsidies to school districts in a manner that more accurately reflects the individual needs of our school districts than previous formulas had.

The new formula was supported and advanced with bipartisan support. Warwick and Manheim Township school districts would both benefit by this new formula, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in new funding.

However, with the governor’s veto of the Fiscal Code, this new equitable funding formula will not be utilized, despite the fact the governor was quoted as saying the new funding formula was a “big step forward for the people of Pennsylvania and our education system.” This means that additional education dollars that were to be spent in Warwick or Manheim Township school districts will not be distributed. Additionally, the state’s school construction reimbursement program known as PLANCON is also funded through the Fiscal Code. The governor’s veto means that these funds may not be disbursed to school districts as well.

The General Assembly must carefully monitor the impact of the governor’s veto of the Fiscal Code and consider steps to remedy the situation. The additional funding included in House Bill 1801should be disbursed according to what was agreed to through the legislative process not unilaterally held back by the governor from schools that are in need.

By State Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)

Representative Steven Mentzer
97th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Eric Reath
717.260.6187
ereath@pahousegop.com
RepMentzer.com / Facebook.com/RepMentzer
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