BLOG: Budget by the Numbers: Historic Education Funding Increases
By: Mark Nicastre, Communications Director
December 01, 2015
Since the beginning, Governor Wolf has been committed to changing the status quo in Pennsylvania, and making education a top priority once again. Throughout the budget process, he stayed true to that commitment because he knew the end result would mean long-term, sustainable improvements to our schools – and Pennsylvania’s future. Now, the governor has secured a commitment from Republican leaders for a historic increase in education funding.
Over the past several years, there have been devastating cuts to basic education. Schools have been forced to make difficult decisions. They’ve cut programs, and laid off educators. Governor Wolf has made restoring these cuts and supporting our public schools the keystone of his agenda. In this budget compromise, he fought for an additional $350 million in basic education funding. This will help support schools across Pennsylvania in their mission to prepare our children for the 21st century economy.
As costs for schools have increased, special education funding has remained stagnant for years. Governor Wolf secured an additional $50 million in special education funding so that schools can prepare all children without having to make difficult cuts in programs.
Pre-kindergarten leads to better outcomes for students. Governor Wolf secured an additional $50 million for pre-k funding that will help thousands of children gain access to early education. Research shows that access to pre-k helps children succeed throughout their schooling.
Governor Wolf secured an additional $10 million in Head Start funding that will allow more students to enroll in high quality Head Start Supplemental Assistance programs. Like pre-k, enrollment in Head Start helps to get students on the right track for future success.
After years of cuts to higher education, Governor Wolf fought for increased funding for Pennsylvania’s institutions of higher education, including our community colleges, state colleges and universities, and state-related universities.
Governor Wolf understands the importance of compromise, offering several concessions over the last few months to issues like pensions and liquor, but throughout this entire process, he has stayed true to his most important goal: funding our schools and fixing education in Pennsylvania.