HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania education spending is an issue getting a lot of attention as of late.

Last week, a tentative trial date was set in the 2014 suit filed by districts, parents and advocates concerning inequitable spending.

This week, The PA Budget and Policy Center released a study that identified inequities among districts with low wealth and high minority populations.

"We have a serious problem that has gone on way too long," said Marc Stier, director of the PA Budget and Policy Center.

The study found there is a spending gap of more than $3,000 per kid, between students in low-wealth districts and high-wealth districts.

"Adequacy and equity must be the law of the land and it must be achieved," said Pa. Senator Vincent Hughes, Chairman of Senate Appropriations.

Most districts get the bulk of their dollars from local taxes, but many poor districts can't raise a lot that way. Researchers at the Budget and Policy Center argue the state isn't doing enough to help them.

"We should spend the money in a way that directs the money to the districts where the need is greatest," Stier said.

A few years back, the state unanimously implemented a formula to target those districts, but only a fraction of dollars spent on education is actually applied to the formula.

Governor Wolf recently proposed running nearly all of the money through the formula. It comes with a tax increase and would happen in a year.

The center said that would help the issue but wouldn't fully solve it.

Republicans have criticized Wolf's plan.

Local Republican Senator Pat Browne has suggested running more money through the formula, but not as much as Wolf. His plan would spread out the increases over a few years.

"The question is, do we have the political will to get it done?" Hughes said.

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