This week's 'Ask Evan' question deals with school districts in Pennsylvania. Kevin T asks, "Has the idea of changing PA schools into county school districts, like in Maryland, ever been considered by the state of PA as a way of reducing property taxes?"
Pennsylvania is home to 500 school districts. Each of the 67 PA counties is home to a wide-ranging number of school districts. In fact, there are 16 school districts in York County alone. A number of other states' school districts are set up by counties.
I reached out to local State Rep Dan Moul to get an answer and here is what he told me. Because Pennsylvania is a commonwealth there is a third layer of government which includes the school boards.
If you were to consolidate school districts given the fact that each district has their own labor contracts and no employee wishes to see a salary decrease; labor contracts would need to be brought up to meet the highest labor contract currently in place.
Therefore most taxpayers would receive an immediate increase in their costs, ie: school property tax bill. The amount of savings by having one superintendent would not outweigh the overall labor increases.
If you have question please send an email to AskEvan@FOX43.com. Put 'Ask Evan' in the subject line. You can also reach out to me on Facebook at Evan Forrester FOX43. Whatever the topic I'll do my best to track down answers you are looking for.