BLOG: Governor Wolf Previews Two Paths For Education

By: Sarah Galbally, Deputy Secretary of Policy & Planning

February 03, 2016

Governor Wolf announced a $200 million increase to basic education funding as part of his 2016-17 budget proposal. He emphasized the importance of this critical funding during a visit Tuesday to 10th and Green Elementary School in the Reading School District. Watch the video of Governor Wolf’s announcement.

This K-12 investment represents a 3.3 percent increase, and will be distributed using the Fair Funding Formula created and unanimously adopted by the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission in June 2015.

The governor continues to advocate for increased funding for Pennsylvania schools to deliver high-quality education to every student across the state, regardless of zip code.

That is especially important in the Reading School District, where 93 percent of the student body is economically disadvantaged, 18 percent of students are English Language Learners, and 16 percent receive special education services.

16-17 Budget News

This 2016-17 investment, however, is contingent upon lawmakers passing the bipartisan budget compromise bill that proved elusive last December. The upcoming budget provides a spending plan for 2016-17 that builds upon that agreement. It invests in our schools, meets critical human service needs, fully funds our pension and debt obligations, and eliminates the structural budget deficit that has plagued us since the Great Recession of 2008.

education-funding

Failing to enact this compromise will put us on yet another path that abandons all bipartisanship, causing our schools to lose an additional $1 billion that would double the amount cut from education under the previous administration.

This budget, by contrast, assumes we will take the path of bipartisan budget agreement and invest in our schools and our future. It provides a clear and responsible path forward to support schools that teach, jobs that pay, and a government that works.

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