2 lawmakers plan to sue Pa. over school-funding formula

    Two Pennsylvania lawmakers are preparing to file a lawsuit against the state to force a change in education funding.

    They say the rules behind which districts get a bigger piece of the pie are unfair to areas that have experienced huge population growth.

    The lawsuit starts with an old state law. That law, starting back in 1991, makes it illegal for any school district to get less state money than it got the year before.

    The lawmaker behind the lawsuit, Rep. Mario Scavello, R-Monroe, says districts that have seen their populations decline or stay about the same are sitting pretty.

    But he says areas with massive growth, such as his own district, are forced to hike property taxes to pay for underfunded schools.

    Take, for example, Scavello’s own house.

    “It’s a $250,000 house … built five years ago. Today, it’s worth about $150,000 and it’s got an $11,000 property tax bill on it, $11,000 in property taxes,” Scavello said Wednesday. “You’re really a prisoner in your own home.”

    Several state lawmakers representing growing regions in York, Berks, and Carbon counties say they support the lawsuit.

    Scavello says he’s personally paying for the legal fees.

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