Pennsylvania lawmakers disagreeing on education funding bill, state representative offers insight

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Adequate and equitable is the goal of Pennsylvania House Bill 2370.

“It’s not about taking away from one group and giving to another group. It’s about continuing to support that school, maybe it’s affluent and given the resources they deserve, but also getting resources and making things equitable to the child that may have challenges outside the school day,” said Dr. Mark Holtzman who’s the Beaver Area Superintendent.

It’s all about educational funding and making the fair funding formula fair after a court deemed it unconstitutional last year. The change will bring over $5 billion into more than 350 underfunded schools across the state.

“It’s really more important now than ever for us as school districts to be considered fairly funded so we can provide opportunities for children,” Holtzman said.

While the bill did pass the House late Monday afternoon, Republicans put up a fight, stating you can’t just keep throwing money at the problem.

“If you read what the ruling was the ruling was very specific that the manner in which the schools are funded is unconstitutional so there is an opportunity to fix the mechanism at which schools are funded but just to throw money at the same exact problem is never going to work,” said Rep. Aaron Bernstine who represents Butler and Lawrence Counties.

Rep. Bernstine would rather see a long-term change to education that doesn’t involve taxpayer dollars. He believes school choice solves that.

“No child should be forced to go to a school just like no adult should be forced to go to a job because of the zip code they live in,” Bernstine said.

The next step for the House bill will be for it to pass the Senate before heading to the governor’s desk.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW

Comments on this article