It’s worth taking a step back to unpack what’s happened here.
PA Republicans scrapped the Rendell funding formula that would have given about $360 million more to Philadelphia schools each year if we were still using it, and topped up state aid to other districts across the state serving distressed communities.
The point of the formula was that we wouldn’t be distributing money based on politicking anymore – it’d be based on actual statistics and the actual needs of students.
Not only have the Republicans dispensed with the funding formula approach and gone back to distributing the money based on political connections, they’ve taken it a full step further.
Meet the new threat-based budgeting; where lawmakers who won’t support irresponsible pension underfunding ideas are threatened with funding cuts for the children in their districts.
“If Philadelphia Democrats aren’t going to be there for what needs to be done, then nobody’s going to be there for them,” said state Budget Secretary Charles Zogby. “And they can go home and tell their constituents why they couldn’t get money for the School District.”
I understand why some feel Philly Dems should “play ball” and get a little money (maybe!) but I have a big problem with just accepting this as a new political norm. These are horrible people!
First they went off formula, denying Philly $360M a year, and now they’re trying to hold our kids hostage in exchange for Democratic votes for some seriously bad ideas. This is not how education money should be distributed!