This week, Governor Wolf signed a bill that takes an important step in ensuring the basic education fair funding formula is permanent. Prior to this week, Pennsylvania was one of only three states that did not have such a formula in place, creating massive inequities in schools and hitting our most vulnerable students the hardest.
Establishing a fair funding formula is a vital step in bettering our commonwealth’s education system. But this is not a cure-all for the challenges our schools face. In order to give students the education and skills they need to excel in a 21st-century economy, we need to make significant investments in our schools.
Governor Wolf’s 2016-2017 Budget proposes that the state take its rightful share of the responsibility for funding our schools with real sources of revenue. Governor Wolf’s 2016-2017 Budget provides for:
- A $200 million increase in the Basic Education Subsidy.
- A $50 million increase in the Special Education Subsidy.
- A $60 million increase in high-quality early childhood education.
We also need to address Pennsylvania’s looming budget deficit. If we don’t invest in our schools and fix our deficit, we will be faced with a $1 billion cut to education that will lead to larger class sizes, teacher layoffs, and skyrocketing property taxes.
Establishing a fair funding formula was a giant step towards improving Pennsylvania schools. But in order to give our students the opportunities they deserve, we need to fund our schools with real, sustainable revenue and address the commonwealth’s budget deficit.
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