By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A commission empaneled to examine a potential overhaul Pennsylvania’s public school funding formula released its long-awaited recommendations today.

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The Basic Education Funding Commission, made up of lawmakers from both parties and members of the Wolf administration, unanimously approved the recommendations developed over the past year.

“I also want to praise the new funding formula, which for the first time takes into account charter schools and each school district’s tax base, and adds in a critical new factor that goes beyond accounting for the percentage of poorer students to adjust for the level and concentration of poverty in a school district,” said commission member James Roebuck of Philadelphia, the ranking Democrat on the state House Education Committee.

The changes to Pennsylvania’s basic education funding formula will need the approval of the full legislature and Governor Wolf.

Later in the day, Philadelphia schools superintendent William Hite applauded what he called “a good, thoughtful formula” that takes poverty and charter school expenses into account.

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In a statement, Hite said he believes the formula would go a long way toward providing equity, and he supports the recommendation that the formula take effect for the upcoming school year.

KYW Newsradio education reporter Mike DeNardo contributed to this report.



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