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Politics & Government

Pennsylvania Looks To Correct School Funding Disparities

AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Students wait for the start of classes at the new high school called The LINC, which stands for Learning in New Contexts Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania school districts whose communities are similar economically are supposed to receive about the same amount of money per student from the state.

But officials have long complained that isn't happening.

An Associated Press comparison of per-student funding shows the differences can be great, with some districts getting half as much aid as communities of similar economic circumstances.

On Thursday, after months of study, a panel of lawmakers and advisers to Gov. Tom Wolf is scheduled to recommend some fixes. It comes as Wolf, a Democrat, is proposing the biggest-ever one-year boost in school aid.

Arnold Hillman of the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools says the state's school funding formula makes no sense. The disparities date back 25 years and analysts say it could take years to correct.