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Ready to Learn Block Grant

2014-2015 Fiscal Year  
 

The Governor’s Budget provides $341 million in total funding, including $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success, and funding for the successful Accountability Block Grant that supports pre-kindergarten, full-day kindergarten and other proven educational programs at the current level of $100 million.  As part of this budget, schools will be authorized to use their Accountability Block Grant for purposes allowed in the Ready to Learn Block Grant, ultimately increasing flexibility for schools and improving learning outcomes for students.

 

A total of $240 million of the Ready to Learn Block Grant funds will be allocated through a student-focused funding formula to enhance learning opportunities for students and provide resources for schools to innovate at the local level.  Schools will be able to use their Ready to Learn Block Grant allocation for programs such as:
 
P Ready by 3rd Grade to ensure that every student in Pennsylvania is performing at grade level in both reading and math by third grade;
P STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Education to support STEM-related academic programs, which are the key growing job fields of the future; and
P Supplemental Instruction to enable more flexibility for schools to provide customized instruction for students.
 
 

The other component of the Ready to Learn Block Grant, The Governor’s Expanding Excellence Program,will provide $1 million in competitive grant funds for Pennsylvania’s high-performing public schools to analyze and publish best practices that have proven to increase student achievement.  Grants will be awarded to high-performing schools that are willing to share their strategies and techniques and support schools throughout the commonwealth as they strive to increase student achievement through these identified best practices.

 

The Ready to Learn Block Grant allocation is determined as follows:
  1. Each school district will receive an amount equal to its 2013-2014 PA Accountability Grant allocation pursuant to Section 2599.2 of the School Code.
  2. Each school district and charter school (school entity) will receive a Student-Focused Funding Supplement calculated as the sum of the following:

    — A per-student factor equal to $231 multiplied by the product of each school entity’s average daily membership (ADM) and its market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR).
    — An English language learner factor equal to $34.65 ($231 x 15%) multiplied by the product of the number students in the school entity identified as limited English proficient and its MV/PI AR.
    — A poverty factor equal to $57.75 ($231 x 25%) multiplied by the product of the number of students in the school entity identified as economically disadvantaged and its MV/PI AR.

    If insufficient funds are available, distribution shall be made on a prorata basis.