– The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today restored $613,000 in Basic Education Funding (BEF) to the Hazleton Area School District (HASD) that had been cut from the district’s 2016-17 budget, according to Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne). The funding reduction had resulted from a recalculation of the district’s state allocation as required by the BEF formula.
Toohil sent two letters to Gov. Tom Wolf requesting the funding be restored because the cut was based on an inaccurate recalculation of the district’s poverty level. She pointed out that such a “massive cut to the current budget would have a drastic negative impact on the district, its students and the services provided.” Toohil also had numerous meetings with PDE officials.
“After fighting for the restoration of these funds for months, I am absolutely thrilled that I was able to get this money put back into our current budget,” said Toohil. “We are very grateful to the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Governor Wolf for finding in our favor.”
PDE explained the decision to restore BEF to HASD and other districts in the following statement:
“The department is committed to upholding the goals of the Basic Education Funding Commission, which found that the allocation of basic education funding needs to allow for accountability, transparency and predictability. To realize these goals, the department calculated the factors and indexes in the student-weighted basic education funding formula using the data available as of the first day in June immediately preceding the fiscal year in which funding is distributed. This practice will continue moving forward to enable school districts to more accurately predict the basic education funding they will receive throughout the year. However, in an effort to use the most accurate data possible, the department will permit corrections to the individual data sets as more accurate data for those sets becomes available.”
Representative Tarah Toohil
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office