Jan. 26, 2022

IFO report shows lack of correlation between education spending and student proficiency
HARRISBURG – In an unusual move and with little explanation, House Democrats led a successful effort to table an already released nonpartisan report, completed by the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO), on the Department of Education, during the Performance-Based Budgeting hearing on Tuesday, said Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland).

“Clearly they are trying to hide what the IFO found. Its independent review of the state’s education system convincingly shows that funding levels and student performance do not necessarily relate to each other,” Ecker said. “It is very troubling that the House Republicans were the only voice on the Performance-Based Budgeting Board to oppose the tabling of the report before anyone could question the IFO or the Department of Education about their findings.”

While the report was tabled at the meeting, it can be found on the IFO website by clicking here.

Ecker noted page 15 of the IFO report states, “The data suggest there is little or no correlation between the current expenditures spent per student and the share of students that score proficient or above on standardized tests.”

According to Ecker, this finding directly contradicts the rhetoric from the Wolf administration, House and Senate Democratic members, and their spending advocates on the need to continually and drastically increase funding.

“I guess we do know why this report was censured – it didn’t fit their narrative of spending other people’s money,” Ecker said. “Another example of a lack of transparency and keeping Pennsylvanians in the dark. Is this a government that works?”

“I am disappointed by the actions of the committee to delay the unbiased and important work of the IFO,” Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) said. “The report states, there is no correlation between dollars spent and student proficiency, a position I have stated many times and that is currently being argued in state court. Attempting to block, delay or change this report now is a blatant attempt to deny these facts from being available to the public.”


Representative Torren Ecker
193rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives