Gov. Wolf: Highlights Proposal to Build on Record Investments in Pennsylvania Schools
April 29, 2022
Governor Tom Wolf visited teachers, students and education stakeholders in Philadelphia today to highlight his plan to build on the record education investments his administration has made over the past seven years with an additional $1.9 billion for education from pre-k through college.
The governor spoke with teachers and education officials at Anna Lingelbach Elementary School and reiterated the need for an education funding increase that creates a brighter future for young people.
“If there’s one thing I know to be true, it’s this: Education changes lives,” said Gov. Wolf. “It’s past time we get serious about giving every school the resources to be a force for change in our commonwealth.”
The governor’s budget announced in February 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:
- $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 for the groundbreaking Level Up initiative launched last year to support the 100 most underfunded schools.
- $200 million increase for Special Education.
“It is vital that we fairly fund our schools across Pennsylvania. Education is the building block to our children’s futures,” said state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, an alumnus of the Lingelbach School. “I greatly appreciate the Governor visiting today and pushing for fair funding for our schools to provide all Pennsylvania children with a valuable education.”
Gov. Wolf has kept his promise over the past seven years to make K-12 education a priority, including:
- Investing 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.
- Creating the Level Up initiative to provide $100 million to the 100 most underfunded school districts.
- Establishing the Public School Fair Funding Formula to help address chronic inequitable and inadequate funding for school districts in the commonwealth.
- Investing $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.
- Modernizing standards for science education.
- Investing more than $130 million in School Safety Grants to make schools and school communities safer.
- Reducing 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.
- Launching first-of-its-kind “It’s On Us PA” Campus Sexual Assault Prevention initiative to combat sexual assault and make colleges and universities safer.
Pennsylvania is primed for a major education funding increase because of Gov. Wolf’s work to right the state’s shaky finances. From day one, the governor prioritized fiscal responsibility, reversing a $2 billion to $3 billion state budget deficit into a record surplus, while at the same time investing in schools. The commonwealth can now afford a major new investment in schools, students and communities without raising taxes or reducing support for a single district.
The governor is also proposing to further help students and taxpayers with a common-sense plan to improve charter school accountability and will preserve school choice, saving school districts $373 million a year.
Note: Photo and video from today’s event available at PAcast.com.