Part of the PublicSource series

Failing the Future

Funding for school districts in Pennsylvania relies heavily on local real estate tax revenue. Districts’ ability to raise that revenue is determined by the assessed value of the commercial and residential properties within the district. Real estate taxes are levied in mills, with one mill of taxes producing $1 for each $1,000 in assessed value. This chart shows how the disparity in property values from district to district affects the ability to raise local revenue that can be applied to school budgets. The revenue-per-student column illustrates how a district’s ability to generate revenue from property taxes can make a significant impact in classrooms.

Mary Niederberger covers education for PublicSource. She can be reached at 412-515-0064 or

This story was fact-checked by Natasha Vicens and Abigail Lind.

This project has been made possible with the generous support of the Grable Foundation and the Education Writers Association.