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PA-Gov: Wolf Launches ‘Schools That Teach’ Website

Wolf TwitterGov. Tom Wolf wants to make good on his promise to Pennsylvania schools. And he wants to be transparent about it.

Wolf launched a “Schools That Teach” website Thursday (www.SchoolsThatTeach.com) to demonstrate how schools would benefit from his proposed budget.

In his budget address Tuesday, Wolf laid out some bold goals for the state’s schools, promising to restore the $1 billion in previous budget cuts. To pay for the funding, the Governor is pushing to enact a 5 percent severance tax on natural gas, as well as increases in the state income and sales taxes.

The “Schools That Teach” website breaks down how much funding each school district would receive from Wolf’s proposed budget. All school districts are featured under a drop-down menu, and each individual district has a page with various charts, facts and figures related to the budget proposal.

“My budget makes historic investments in education, and www.schoolsthatteach.com shows how my proposed budget will benefit students, schools and property owners in a way that is user-friendly and easy to access,” Wolf said in a statement. “My budget proposal increases funding for Pennsylvania’s education system by $1 billion and this website will show users how much of that money will go to increase funding to their local school districts and decrease property taxes in their areas.”

Prominently featured on each district’s page is a bar graph comparing the received amount of combined Basic Education Funding and Special Education Funding in the 2014-2015 fiscal year and the proposed increase for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Next to the graph, numerical values for the proposed increase and the proposed property tax relief are listed.

Also listed is the amount each school district would save under Wolf’s Cyber Charter Funding Reform. This program would create a flat tuition rate for regular students at a cyber charter school and a tiered rate for special education, as recommended by the bipartisan Special Education Funding Commission.

Wolf’s website also includes a section dedicated to student performance and achievement. Graphs depict changes over time in students’ scores on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment exams, as well as what percentage of students at each school have attended college.

2 Responses

  1. Property tax reduction bills HB76 and SB76 proposed using a combination of new sales and services taxes to achieve elimination of school property taxes and the PA Taxpayers Cyber Coalition developed a formula to show Pennsylvanians exactly how those taxes would effect them – what the cost would be – showing how overall, they would pay less than what they were in property taxes. Will the Wolf administration also give us a site and formula so we can do the same? I would like to compare my increased income taxes and sales taxes to the supposed benefit of property tax reduction.

  2. Schools that teach is an interesting website. And I’m all for my support for public education. But I’m having difficulty in understand how some districts can have their property taxes reduced by more than 100%. How does that work?

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