On July 10, Governor Corbett signed into law the 2014-15 state budget and its enabling legislation that allocates more than $10 billion in state support of public schools.
Below are highlights of the enacted 2014-15 state budget:
· Basic Education Funding – $5.53 billion: Each school district will receive the same amount it received in 2013-14.
· Ready to Learn Block Grant – $200 million – increased funding of $100 million: Each school district will receive an amount equal to its 2013-14 Accountability Block Grant allocation pursuant to Section 2599.2 of the Public School Code.
o Each school entity (school district and charter school) will receive a Student-Focused Funding Supplement calculated as the sum of the following:
§ A per-student factor equal to $231 multiplied by the product of each school entity’s average daily membership (ADM) and its market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR).
§ An English language learner factor equal to $34.65 ($231 x 15%) multiplied by the product of the number students in the school entity identified as limited English proficient and its MV/PI AR.
§ A poverty factor equal to $57.75 ($231 x 25%) multiplied by the product of the number of students in the school entity identified as economically disadvantaged and its MV/PI AR.
o School entities can use their Ready to Learn Block Grant to enhance learning opportunities for students through initiatives, such as:
§ The eligible uses under the Accountability Block Grant program.
§ Pre-kindergarten to grade 3 curriculum alignment;
§ Ensuring that all students are performing at grade level by third grade in both reading and math;
§ Extended learning opportunities for supplemental and customized student instruction for pre-kindergarten to grade 3;
§ Training to support early literacy;
§ Supplemental instruction in biology, English language arts and algebra I;
§ Instructional coaches;
§ Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education;
§ Implementation of the State Literacy Plan; and
§ Hybrid learning.
· Special Education – 1.05 billion – an increase of $20 million.
o These new dollars will be distributed based on categories of support for students with disabilities.
§ For school districts and charter schools that submit contingency fund applications for students whose costs are $75,000 to $100,000, the department will subtract the state subsidy and multiply the difference by the school entities’ market value/personal income aid ratio.
§ School entities that submit contingency fund applications for students whose costs are greater than $100,000, the department will subtract the state subsidy.
§ The contingency fund will be capped at approximately $300,000 for any school entity.
o Note: No changes will be made to the calculation for how charter schools receive funding for students with disabilities.
· Pre-K Counts – $97.3 million – an increase of $10 million
· Head Start Supplemental Assistance – $39.2 million
· Early Intervention – $237.5 million – an increase of $9.5 million
· Pennsylvania Charter Schools for the Deaf and Blind – $42.8 million – an increase of $1.1 million