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Pennsylvania’s school funding fight exits spotlight

Marc Levy
Associated Press
Governor Tom Wolf announces a $4.5 billion initiative to provide improvements to infrastructure including high-speed internet, storm preparedness and disaster recovery and more, Thursday, February 7, 2019 at Dover High School.
John A. Pavoncello photo

 

HARRISBURG – When Gov. Tom Wolf took office, he told lawmakers that he had a plan to fix Pennsylvania’s system of school funding.

Four years and a couple of budget fights later, public school advocates say huge gaps still persist between poorer and wealthier districts.

The subject didn’t rate a mention this past week in the Democrat’s first budget speech to the Legislature after his re-election.

That prompted grumbling among Democrats, although some in the school-funding trenches say Wolf hasn’t given up.

They say his silence reflects the difficult politics in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

In the meantime, public school advocates are trying to build support for ideas to funnel a bigger share of money to districts that are suffering the most.