(Part-2) Democrats' education spending study argues Pennsylvania owes school districts $5B more.

School officials claim underfunded schools have larger classes, less-qualified teachers, and antiquated facilities, textbooks, technology, and curricula. Growth, poverty, and minority enrollment are common in underfunded districts.

Shapiro may present his second yearly budget plan to Congress on Feb. 6. Shapiro cautioned Thursday about how the state will pay for billions in increased school financing and did not suggest a solution.

Lawyers for the plaintiff school districts dubbed $5 billion “transformational,” but less than they wanted and implemented slowly.

Still, it means thousands extra teachers, counselors, and librarians in schools, said Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg of the Public Interest Law Center, a nonprofit that backed the districts in court.

“And it also is a commitment to do what the commonwealth never does: which is actually come up with a figure, a reasonable, evidence-based figure for what every school district needs to educate their children,” Urevick-Acklesberg sai

The group was obligated by law to advise lawmakers on updating a system that distributes $8 billion in state money to Pennsylvania's 500 school districts.

Following the court verdict, Republicans and Democrats on the commission divided on what recommendations to make. The Democrats' report set a monetary objective for each school district to provide a legally sufficient and equal education.

The research noted current financing is $5.4 billion short, or 18% of district spending. According to the research, the state pays $5.1 billion and low-tax school districts $291 million.

The guidelines also include that the state invest at least $300 million a year on school facility maintenance and give $955 million to school districts with disproportionately high rates to lower taxes. The group of 12 lawmakers and three Shapiro administration members concluded months of hearings with the report.

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