Hold Harmless: A Quarter Century of Inequity at the Heart of Pennsylvania’s School System
This report reveals the significant harm done by the education funding system paradoxically known as “hold harmless.” This system fails to account for the massive shift in district enrollment, resulting in an education funding system that’s among the most inequitable in the nation.
Implemented in 1992, hold harmless is the policy that school districts cannot receive less funding than they did the year prior. Shrinking districts have lost a total of 167,000 students—a fifth of their student body—since 1991–92. They now have $590 million tied to students they no longer educate. Growing districts have 204,000 more students today than in 1991–92, but they have largely been denied the additional funding needed to compensate for the increase in students.
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