Small, rural school districts don’t receive fair share of state funds

Insufficient school funding is not just an urban or suburban problem; it is a state problem. That is the main takeaway from a report on rural schools recently released by Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

The report, “Spending Impact on Student Achievement: A Rural Perspective,” found that of Pennsylvania’s 260 rural school districts 202 are not receiving their fair share of state funding, forcing districts to either spend less and risk student achievement or increase local taxes.

In turn, 158 rural districts spend below the amount needed to properly educate students – or the “adequacy target.” When rural school districts do not reach that adequacy target, the underspending is a direct result of inadequate state support. That lack of support negatively affects student achievement.

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