More Trouble Ahead for Public School Finance: The Implications of Generational Change in Pennsylvania


  • Maureen W. McClure Temple University Press
  • Vera Krekanova



Pennsylvania’s generational transitions will be rockier and more expensive for education finance than is publicly acknowledged. Debates over both the necessity for and the affordability of tax increases already frame state education budget debates. Education policy and planning data, especially at regional and local levels, tend to be isolated from other sector wide and cross-sectoral data. This study explores the examples of tax capacity and workforce quality data and concludes that two issues state, regional, and local education policymakers can’t ignore are increased dependency ratios and a smaller workforce with fewer economic opportunities. Aging seniors increase dependency ratios, are less mobile, and enjoy lighter tax burdens, putting greater public responsibilities on the labor force. Younger, educated workers have heavier tax burdens and are more likely to leave for younger states with less heavy tax burdens.