Stephens Backs Budget that Increases Funding to Local School Districts
HARRISBURG— Citing changes to the budget plan made in the Senate, Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) joined a House majority in passing a $29.09 billion state budget on time and without raising taxes.

“This budget dramatically increases education funding for the school districts of Montgomery County, community colleges, and early childhood education programs while holding the line on taxes and overall spending,” Stephens said. “These are challenging budgetary times and this budget allows us to live within our means while helping our local schools.”

Stephens was the sole Republican “no” vote when the House passed its budget proposal plan last week in part because the plan continued to shortchange local schools.

Stephens, an outspoken critic of the school funding formula, introduced House Bill 2216 to help address the disparity in state funding among school districts. Some school districts in Montgomery County receive as little as 10 percent of their total funding from the state, while others in the Commonwealth receive as much as 78 percent.

“The original House budget plan continued these inequities,” Stephens said. “Fortunately the changes made in the Senate help local schools tremendously while also providing additional funding for special education, community colleges, and early childhood education.”

The following school districts will receive funding increases:

• Abington received a 9.3 percent increase over last year of $1,780,552-- $364,908 more than the initial plan.

• Hatboro-Horsham received a 7.6 percent increase over last year of $967,396-- $193,772 more than the initial plan.

• North Penn received an 8.2 percent increase over last year of $2,623,654-- $477,426 more than the initial plan.

• Upper Dublin received an 11.1 percent increase over last year of $1,115,502-- $179,813 more than the initial plan.

• Wissahickon received a 9.8 percent increase over last year of 1,092,926-- $198,397 more than the initial plan.

“This spending plan is far better for the students and taxpayers of Montgomery County while still living within our means,” Stephens said.

The final budget also increases funding for community colleges by $3.5 million over the initial plan, dedicates $100 million more in Ready to Learn Block Grants, $100 million more in Accountability Block Grants, and increases Special Education funding by $20 million and Pre-K Counts by $10 million over last year.

“I remain committed to reforming the education funding formula in Pennsylvania, but the improvements the Senate made for education in this budget made it worthy of my support,” Stephens said.

Representative Todd Stephens
151st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster
Share |