HARRISBURG -- Gov. Tom Corbett said Pennsylvania's system of school funding should be changed, calling for "a true funding system" that would be fair to all schools.
The governor expressed interest in a bill passed by the state House last week that would set up a commission to develop a formula to distribute money for K-12 education. The bill is pending in the Senate.
"Let's get a true, fair funding system of all the schools of Pennsylvania, not for one district or another," Corbett said Wednesday. "It's not fair right now, OK? So we need to address that."
Local lawmakers: State Rep. Ron Miller, R-Jacobus, said it's about time.
"It's fantastic we finally have a governor who's on board to fix the inequities in school funding in York County and across the state," he said.
Education funding has not kept up with school population and growth, and the formula for education funding needs to be tossed out and completely revamped, Miller said.
"It's not going to be easy, but we need to address this issue. I can't think of anywhere it's not an issue in York County, except for maybe the York City School District where population has decreased," he said.
The majority of the York County delegation co-sponsored the House bill, said state Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover.
"Pretty much the only people who don't support it are representatives from non-growth areas in the state, who are afraid their districts will lose money," he said.
Changes: A fair formula will consider student population, the wealth of a district, incentives for cost savings and more, Grove said.
"At the end of the day, it would definitely add money to our local schools, which have been growing," he said.
Grove said he thinks the Senate will pass the bill.
No state senators could be reached or immediately returned calls seeking comment on the issue.
"If it gets passed in June, I think we'll see implementation in the next budget cycle," Grove said.
Corbett took questions after announcing he will propose a $2.2 million increase in the state's funding for domestic violence and rape crisis centers.
He will lay out his spending proposal for the fiscal year that starts July 1 during a budget address in less than two weeks.
Major issue: Corbett is seeking re-election this year, and his handling of education funding has emerged as a major campaign issue.
"The state is looked at as a source of revenue on a regular basis," he said during the Capitol news conference. "Yet the state has no role in negotiating how the money is going to be spent. I have a little problem with that, but I don't know that we're ever going to change that."
Last week, he canceled what would have been his first visit to a Philadelphia public school, saying at the last minute that he expected protests that would be a distraction for students.
He said Wednesday he "absolutely" planned to visit a city school, and bristled at a suggestion that he skipped out on Central High School on Friday.
"I did not skip out," Corbett said. "We chose not to give a number of people a stage for their own purposes, to the distraction of the schoolwork of the students in that building that day."