Penn State Cooperative Extension and Penn State University researchers continue their research into how the Marcellus Shale gas drilling boom affects the state. Recently they issued findings from a survey of 940 school districts across PA (see this MDN story). Earlier this week, they issued another report in their Marcellus Education Fact Sheet series, titled: “Marcellus Shale Gas Development and Pennsylvania School Districts: What Are the Implications for School Expenditures and Tax Revenues?” (full report embedded below).
The new report answers the question: To what extent has this economic activity affected Pennsylvania school districts, which rely heavily on local funding? The impacts of revenue and costs to school districts with varying degrees of Marcellus activity were considered. Revenue from school district taxes and costs based on student enrollment and special education were reviewed. Their conclusion?
The current structure of school funding in Pennsylvania means that in most instances schools will likely not see significant economic benefits as a result of local activity associated with the Marcellus shale natural gas industry. The data we examine here also appear to support this conclusion. The most recent legislation regarding drilling impact fees will also have no effect on school districts as none of these revenues are earmarked for schools.