First Lady Highlights Wolf Administration Commitment to Investing in Public Education During Visit to S.S. Palmer Elementary School

February 21, 2018

Palmerton, PA – First Lady Frances Wolf today visited S.S. Palmer Elementary School in the Palmerton Area School District where she met with students and teachers, toured classrooms, and read to third-graders. During her visit, she emphasized Governor Wolf’s commitment to increasing funding for public education at all levels, from Pre-K to higher education.

As part of a writing assignment last September, students from the third-grade “inclusion” class at S.S. Palmer wrote personal letters to Governor Wolf inviting him and the First Lady to visit the school and read to students.

“I was delighted to meet with such talented and bright young people at S.S. Palmer Elementary School today,” said the First Lady. “We owe it to these students, and all students in Pennsylvania, to ensure we are giving them the resources they need to succeed. That is why investing in education from preschool through higher education has been a top priority for this administration since day one.”

Governor Wolf’s recently-announced 2018-19 budget proposal for education includes:

  • $100 million increase in Basic Education;
  • $40 million increase in Pre-K Counts and Head Start;
  • $20 million increase for Special Education;
  • $15 million increase for the State System of Higher Education; and
  • $10 million for Career and Technical Education

Since taking office, Governor Wolf has made modernizing and improving Pennsylvania’s education system a priority, and under his leadership, Pennsylvania has seen real results, including:

  • Fully restoring the one-billion-dollar education cut made in the previous administration that led to teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, and program cuts.
  • Enacting a fair funding formula that provides equitable, fair funding for all school districts.
  • Increasing the number of children able to attend pre-kindergarten by nearly 50 percent.
  • Increasing high school graduation rate to 86.1 percent, placing Pennsylvania above the national average.
  • Establishing standards for computer science education in all Pennsylvania schools, joining fewer than a dozen states to endorse such standards.
  • Increasing the number of career and technical education (CTE) students earning industry-recognized credentials by 32.2 percent and increased the number of credentials earned by students enrolled in CTE programs by 28.4 percent.
  • Advancing Pennsylvania to third in the nation in the number of nationally-recognized STEM ecosystems and made the commonwealth the fifth largest producer of STEM graduates.
  • Expanding enrollment in AP courses by 10 percent.

Reducing the length of PSSA tests by 20 percent, condensed the exam timeframe from three weeks to two weeks and shifted it to later in the school year for students in grades three through eight.

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