Gov. Wolf Highlights $1.9 Billion Proposal to Secure Better Futures through Education

May 11, 2022

Governor Tom Wolf today visited the Wilkes-Barre High School with Representative Eddie Day Pashinski to highlight his proposal to ensure successful futures for all Pennsylvanians through a $1.9 billion proposal to adequately and fairly fund education.

“When I ran for governor, I did it on the premise that I would be a force for change starting with education,” said Governor Wolf. “Education is the rock upon which we build our economy and our communities, and I’m proud to have invested nearly $2 billion in education over the past seven years.

“Now, I want to continue building on that investment to ensure success for everyone. For with investments in education, in people, we will build a strong, healthy commonwealth,” said Governor Wolf.

When ​Governor Wolf took office in 2015, he immediately set to work to address the education funding drought that was hurting schools, students, and families across Pennsylvania.

Through government that works, Governor Wolf built schools that teach with targeted investments and policy.

Over the past seven years, he has:

  • Invested more than $1.8 billion in education from pre-k through college, including the largest single-year education funding increase in state history in 2021.
  • Created the Level Up initiative to provide $100 million to the 100 most underfunded school districts.
  • Established the Public School Fair Funding Formula to help address chronic inequitable and inadequate funding for school districts in the commonwealth.
  • Invested $116 million in science, computer science and technical education, including $80 million in the innovative PAsmart program, and $36 million in apprenticeships and workforce training.
  • Modernized standards for science education.
  • Invested more than $130 million in School Safety Grants to make schools and school communities safer.
  • Reduced the age when students must start school to 6 and raising the high school dropout age to 18 to set students up for a lifetime of success.
  • Launched first-of-its-kind “It’s On Us PA” Campus Sexual Assault Prevention initiative to combat sexual assault and make colleges and universities safer.

In his final budget, Governor Wolf outlined a plan to build on these record investments with a $1.9 billion increase in education funding from pre-k through college. It’s a major investment only possible thanks to sound budgeting and fiscal responsibility.

“We are truly excited to welcome Governor Wolf to Wilkes-Barre,” said Representative Pashinski. “I’m truly excited and appreciative for his education budget which will address the financial needs of our students and our communities.”

The governor’s final budget calls for building on the momentum of previous years with a generational investment of $1.9 billion in education from pre-k through college, including:

  • $70 million for Pre-K Counts and Head Start Supplemental Assistance.
  • $1.25 billion in basic education funding ​through the Fair Funding Formula, bringing the total going through the formula to more than $2 billion, or 26.5 percent of state funding.
  • $300 million increase for Level Up.
  • $200 million increase for Special Education.
  • $125 million for higher education institutions.

“The governor’s budget proposal is a step in the right direction for a fair and equitable educational system across the commonwealth,” said Dr. Brian Costello, superintendent for the Wilkes-Barre Area School District. “On behalf of the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, we applaud the governor for his continued commitment in education and we are honored to have him here with us today.”

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