Gov. Wolf Highlights Legacy Education Investments to Secure Success for Pennsylvania Kids, Their Futures

February 11, 2022

Over the past seven year​s, Governor Tom Wolf has built a legacy with his historic investments in Pennsylvania’s K-12 education system to secure success for Pennsylvania kids. Today, he joined educators and students at Upper Darby High School in Delaware County to cement his commitment to continuing to prioritize education in the last year of his administration.

“I want Pennsylvania schools to be the envy of the world. Our kids deserve it, and our future demands it,” said Wolf. “When I took office, Pennsylvania’s education system was in rough shape. We had to make up for devastating budget cuts that left their mark on our schools.”

“Through sound fiscal management, I’ve invested billions in schools and children over the past seven years to set them up for a strong and successful future. My service is not done yet, and I will continue working to ensure every student in this commonwealth has access to the high quality education they deserve,” added ​Gov. 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, Gov. 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.

“Our work is not done here, I’ll fight for our students until my last day in office,” said ​Gov. Wolf. “I hope every legislator will join me for this worthy cause, because it takes a village – or in our case, a commonwealth – to raise children. Let’s get to work.”

Gov. Wolf’s final budget proposes $1.55 billion in basic education funding, ​including $300 million for Level Up to support Pennsylvania’s 100 most underfunded schools, and $200 million for special education.

“I applaud Gov. Wolf’s commitment to education through his proposed increase in education funding,” said state Senator Tim Kearney. “We have districts all throughout the commonwealth in desperate need of additional support and these financial investments will address longstanding inequities within our public school system—ensuring that all learners have the resources they need to be successful. This is a win for our children, our commonwealth, and our future.”

“Pennsylvania has a historic budget surplus, and I stand with Gov. Wolf in asking the General Assembly to use this golden opportunity to invest in our children, schools, and communities,” said state Representative Mike Zabel.

“For too long, local taxpayers have had to carry the burden of high property taxes to make up for Harrisburg’s failure to fairly and fully fund school districts like Upper Darby.  It’s time to make a generational change by giving our parents, kids, and schools all the resources they deserve – and by doing so, we can even save taxpayer dollars.”

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