Educational Equity, Adequacy, and Equal Opportunity in the Commonwealth

Great Learning

Educational Equity, Adequacy, and Equal Opportunity in the Commonwealth

An Evaluation of Pennsylvania's School Finance System, October 2014

A sizeable body of rigorous empirical literature validates that state school-finance reforms can have substantive, positive effects on student outcomes, including reductions in outcome disparities and increases in overall achievement levels. As Pennsylvania education leaders prepare to study potential school finance reforms, we are pleased to provide foundational research to support this work.

Our report is organized into three main chapters:

  • Chapter 1: The State of Education Funding in Pennsylvania examines the Commonwealth’s school funding system from a number of perspectives. We compare Pennsylvania’s funding system to that of other states, evaluate the equity of the distribution of state education funding within Pennsylvania, and examine student outcomes related to funding distribution.
  • Chapter 2: Elements of a Funding Formula outlines how conceptions of equity, adequacy, and equal educational opportunity inform school finance policy. In other words, what are the basic building blocks of school funding reform?
  • Chapter 3: The Current Landscape of State School Finance provides an overview of how these building blocks intersect with state policy.

Our examination draws on several recent national reports as well as thorough analyses of data from both Pennsylvania and national sources.

Published: October 2014
Bruce Baker and Jesse Levin
Download Report