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Governor Wolf, Senator Wiley, Reps. Harkins and Fabrizio Secure Critical Funding in Budget to Aid Erie

July 14, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf, Senator Sean Wiley, and Representatives Pat Harkins and Flo Fabrizio today announced that the 2016-17 budget includes critical funding for the Erie School District. In the 2016-17 budget, the Erie School District received an increase of $3.3 million in basic education funding, an increase of $234,000 in special education funding, and an additional $4 million to aid the district financially.

Over a two year period, Governor Wolf and legislators have secured more than $6.5 million in basic education funding for the Erie School District and $562,000 in special education funding.

“The Erie School District, like too many districts across Pennsylvania, is still reeling from the devastating cuts to education made by the previous administration,” said Governor Wolf. “Working with Senator Wiley and Representatives Harkins and Fabrizio, we fought hard to secure additional funding for the district that is critical to placing it on solid financial footing. The budget that was completed yesterday includes more money to invest in our classrooms and our children, and it provides additional funding to help the district with its finances.”

Going even further, Governor Wolf worked with Senator Wiley, and Representatives Harkins and Fabrizio to include a provision in the budget to provide the Erie School District with additional financial and technical support from the Department of Education.

“We spent months making the case that Erie’s Public Schools cannot cut its way out of this hole and that their financial situation cannot be righted without an influx of funds,” said Senator Wiley. “Getting them out of the red and back to even was an important step, but one that is only a short-term fix. Erie’s Public Schools and other districts across this Commonwealth will be right back in the same situation next budget cycle if we don’t address the costs incurred by districts. I look forward to continuing to work on those necessary systemic changes moving forward.”

“I’m very happy that things worked out,” said Rep. Harkins. “We’ve been working together in a bipartisan way since September with Superintendent Jay Badams to find a positive solution for all involved. I’m very glad we were able to come to an agreement that worked for everyone.”

“I’m very pleased that the General Assembly and the Governor have recognized the dire financial situation of Erie’s Public Schools, and that by working collaboratively and collectively, we’ve been able to provide them with some relief,” said Representative Fabrizio.

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