Red Lion Area School District's Pleasant View and Locust Grove elementary schools are two of the best in the state.

Pleasant View scored 95.2 on the 2012-13 School Performance Profile, the sixth highest of all of York County's 116 public schools, and Locust Grove wasn't far behind with a score of 92.9.

Other schools could learn a lot from high achievers like these.

And they just might get their chance if Gov. Tom Corbett has his way.

The governor dropped by the Red Lion district earlier this week to present the two schools with awards of excellence — and propose a new competitive grant program designed to encourage high-performing schools to share their best practices with low-achieving schools.

The innovative Expanding Excellence Program will be part of Corbett's 2014-15 budget, which he will unveil next week.

It would work like this:

Any school that scores at least 90 on the School Performance Profile could apply for additional state funding in exchange for analyzing and sharing best practices.

Eligible schools will have to provide a narrative about how they will share their best practices with low-achieving schools in the state, said Tim Eller, spokesman for the state Department of Education.

Eller said those schools could apply to share those practices in their own district, in neighboring schools or across the state.

This isn't a cure-all by any means, but simply another tool available to help struggling schools.


The devil, of course, will be in the details, and we won't know those until Corbett's budget address Tuesday.

One big question is how much money the state would flash to entice high-performing schools to work with others.

We don't doubt they would be happy to share their practices, but district budgets are tight right now. It's not as if many have time and resources to spare.

The grants would have to be large enough to make it worth the effort.

Even better would be more state funding for general education as a whole,

The Expanding Excellence Program is a commendable proposal, but the bottom line is what works for one school or district won't necessarily work for others.

Low-performing schools and districts have to tailor their improvement plans to their needs — and what they need most is adequate funding to implement those plans.