By Jim Melwert
LOWER MERION, Pa. (CBS) — A hearing was taking place today at a Montgomery County technical school, held by a group of Pennsylvania state lawmakers tasked with the goal of coming up with a new formula for distributing state education funds.
It’s part of an ongoing series of meetings of the Basic Education Funding Commission, created by a 2014 law with the goal of coming up with a formula for distributing state funds to school districts.
In attendance today was Shirlee Howe, a mother of three children in the Lower Merion School District, who said she hopes to convince lawmakers that state funding fair to all districts is needed as reductions in state funds have forced districts to hike property taxes.
“Many school districts statewide, including several in Montgomery County, are starting to tap their local tax bases dry,” she noted.
State representative Mike Vereb (R-Montco), the commission co-chair, says they have held hearings across the state, in both wealthy and poor districts, urban and rural. Today’s hearing centered on the challenges and advantages of funding tech schools.
“We really have a great grasp now of what each quadrant in this commonwealth is going through in public education funding,” Vereb said.
The final report from the commission is due this summer, when it will go before the state House and Senate.