Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Program Name

Public Administration

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Natalie Fussell

Abstract

The basic education funding system in Pennsylvania is seriously flawed. The current method used to calculate the subsidy to school districts is antiquated and has created an environment of inequality. Median income, property tax, housing values, and subsidy data from various state and national sources has been collected and analyzed to show that the education funding subsidy has caused the property taxes in the southeastern region of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to increase disproportionately compared with other regions of the Commonwealth. This unbalanced increase in property taxes, as a result of the lack of fair funding from the Commonwealth, was necessary to fund those school districts at successful levels. The education subsidy granted to other portions of the Commonwealth was at a much higher level, which allowed the property taxes in those areas to reflect more modest increases over time. Several alternatives including school district mergers, performance funding, and changing the tax structure were also examined. While a direct cause and effect relationship was not established from the data obtained, the general trends observed show a positive correlation between the inequitable education subsidy and the increase in property taxes in the southeastern portion of the Commonwealth.

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