PA Dems accused of rushing major education funding changes through committee, critiqued as lacking “accountability”

05 June 2024- Following the House Education Committee meeting to rush through legislation to address Basic Education Funding, Republican Chairman Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Fulton) issued the following statement:

“The committee stage of the legislative process is meant to be a time when bills are vetted. That wasn’t done with this 87-page bill. It wasn’t because of a lack of desire on the part of Republicans, but rather for a lack of time. Republicans were given 24-hours’ notice that today’s meeting was happening, and even less time to review the legislation we were asked to take up.

“Obviously, that is not enough time to review any bill, let alone one that will lead to spending substantial taxpayer dollars. Despite so much money on the line, the bill lacks accountability to track student achievement, which is more than just meeting average test scores.

“The No. 1 stakeholder group we are responsible for is our students. The product delivered today does not allow us, as policymakers, to work together to create legislation that truly addresses and fixes the issues that our schools and, more importantly, our students, are facing.”

This is not the first time Topper has faced opposition on how changes to the Basic Education Funding Formula have been handled. After passing on a largely partisan vote back in September, the proposed changes were slammed by Topper on News Talk 1037FM in January, saying, “Unfortunately we didn’t get to allow the structural changes that need to take place in education, some of which we reference in our report.”