Oberlander Seeks to Restore Governor’s Local Education Cuts
HARRISBURG – Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) today supported legislation that would seek to reverse the harmful cuts to local schools’ state funding made by Gov. Tom Wolf.

House Bill 1589 seeks to reverse the governor’s decision to veto the Fiscal Code as part of the overall 2015-16 state budget package. The Fiscal Code is the instruction manual dictating how new state education dollars are to be spent. After Wolf’s veto, the governor unilaterally decided to develop his own funding formula instead of the formula created by the bipartisan, bicameral Basic Education Funding Commission, of which Oberlander was a member.

“Since the governor allowed the 2015-16 state budget to become law late last month, my colleagues and I were hopeful that our schools would soon receive their state funding allocations,” Oberlander said. “However, we were disappointed when he decided to veto the legislation that would have allowed our school districts to receive a historic investment in state funds. With his veto pen and his decision to allocate the money as he saw fit, our local school districts are being shortchanged more than $800,000.”

Schools across the 63rd District are still seeing more money from the 2015-16 budget but could have benefited even more from the distributions with the new funding formula. The biggest loss of $400,000 will be borne by the Armstrong School District. Schools in Clarion and Forest counties are losing anywhere from $20,000 to $65,000 in new money.

“The governor is simply choosing winners and losers, with the biggest winners in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Chester-Upland, where half of the new education money – at $100 million -- is targeted,” Oberlander said. “We created the Basic Education Funding formula as a way to ensure greater fairness among our schools, and the governor last year praised both our efforts and the new formula.

“Our schools need every penny they can to pay their bills and ensure the quality of education we expect to see in our classrooms,” Oberlander added. “I am hopeful that the action we took today will send a clear and resounding message that the governor needs to govern all of Pennsylvania, stop ignoring the rural areas and revert back to the funding formula to which he originally agreed.”

The legislation passed with a bipartisan majority of 149-45.

?Representative Donna Oberlander
63rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
RepOberlander.com / Facebook.com/RepOberlander
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