Gov. Wolf: Historic Investment in Education is Major Step Toward Brighter Future for Pennsylvania

August 22, 2022

Governor Tom Wolf today joined students, educators and elected officials in the Scranton School District to celebrate the administration’s historic $3.7 billion investment in public education over the past eight years.

“From day one, building a brighter future for Pennsylvania’s kids has been my top priority, to give our kids a strong foundation, to set them up for a future of success and prosperity,” Gov. Wolf said. “There is still work to do to ensure every student in Pennsylvania has equal access to the high quality education they deserve, but we’ve made a major step forward over the past eight years.”

This year’s budget alone includes a record $1.8 billion in education investments.

Speaking at Scranton High School’s about-to-be-launched STEMM Academy today, Governor Wolf recalled that proper funding for education was his top priority when he took office in 2015. This year, that priority resulted in:

  • $525 million increase through the Fair Funding Formula. On average Pennsylvania schools will see their funding increase by 8 percent. 
  • $225 million increase for Level Up to provide targeted support to the 100 most in-need school districts, ensuring that every child in Pennsylvania has the opportunity to thrive and succeed through equal access to a high-quality education no matter their zip code. 
  • $100 million increase for Special Education. 
  • $79 million increase for Early Education through Pre-K Counts and Head Start. 
  • $220 million for public higher education. 

The investment in education includes $850 million in recurring funding to allow school districts to invest in student learning while simultaneously cutting local property taxes.

“I commend Governor Wolf’s commitment to fight for bigger and better investments in education. He’s brought more funding to education than any other governor in Pennsylvania’s history,” said state Sen. Marty Flynn. “This year’s historic increase in education funding will help schools in my district, like Scranton High School where we are today, that have been starved for resources and basic tools that are needed to provide students with a high quality education and learning environment.”

Level Up, first funded in last year’s budget, provides an equity supplement to each of the state’s 100 most underfunded school districts.

“I want to especially thank the governor for fighting for the $225 million in Level Up funding included in the 2022-23 state budget,” state Rep. Thom Welby said. “These funds will help historically underfunded school districts like Scranton and many others, and they are an additional appropriation, on top of the basic education and historic Fair Funding Formula dollars that will be distributed to school districts across our commonwealth.”

“Today marks a major victory in the fight for adequate and fair funding for our school children,” said state Rep. Kyle Mullins. “I’m proud to stand with Governor Wolf and other elected leaders who never wavered in their commitment to public education, and our efforts must continue behalf of our kids, educators, and taxpayers.” 

“Lackawanna County schools alone are receiving an additional $19.4 Million from this budget, which is 15.2% more than last year,” said state Rep. Bridget Kosierowski. “The Scranton School District has been consistently underfunded for years and I am not standing here today saying every issue is now corrected. But providing a district that is still in financial recovery an additional $11.5 million, including $5.1 million in Level Up funding, is something that should certainly be celebrated and should become a blueprint for future budget discussions.”

Even before the 2022-23 budget was finalized, the Wolf administration had:

  • Invested more than $1.9 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.
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