Governor Shapiro Signs Ceremonial Budget Bill Creating Universal Free Breakfast, Making Historic Investments in Public Education During Visit to Allegheny County Elementary School
August 08, 2023
The 2023-24 budget makes historic investments in K-12 public schools, including a $567 million increase in basic education funding and a $46.5 million increase to provide universal free breakfast for public school students
146,000 students in Allegheny County will be eligible for free breakfast
Penn Hills, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro, Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis, and Department of Education Secretary Dr. Khalid Mumin visited Penn Hills Elementary School in Allegheny County to host a ceremonial bill signing of the 2023-2024 budget, which creates universal free breakfast for all public school students and makes historic investments in K-12 public schools, including the largest increase in basic education funding in Pennsylvania history.
The 2023-2034 budget includes a $567 million increase in basic education funding (BEF) for Pennsylvania school districts – the largest BEF increase in Pennsylvania history – and a $46.5 million increase to provide universal free breakfast to Pennsylvania’s 1.7 million public school students. In Allegheny County, more than 146,000 public school students will be eligible for free breakfast starting on the first day of school this year.
“As I’ve traveled Pennsylvania over the past few years, one thing I heard over and over again is about how many kids come to school hungry. Every expert will tell you that you can’t learn on an empty stomach – and we cannot expect kids to learn math and science and English when they haven’t eaten anything all day,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “That’s why, in my budget address, I called for universal free breakfast to put every kid on the same playing field. This budget delivers on that promise to provide free breakfast to all 1.7 million public school students in Pennsylvania, because our students can’t learn on empty stomachs. Every student in Pennsylvania deserves the freedom to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed – and this budget delivers for them.”
Governor Shapiro, Lieutenant Governor Davis, and Secretary Mumin met with Pittsburgh area students, teachers, and staff to hear about their experiences and learn how this historic funding will make a difference in students’ learning and their lives.
“Before becoming Secretary, I spent over 25 years as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. I was in classrooms day in and day out. Perhaps better than any of my esteemed colleagues here, I know what this budget means for our schools,” said Secretary Dr. Khalid Mumin. “For the student in an underfunded school, this means getting the basic resources they need for a world-class education. For the student living with different abilities, this means access to an equitable education that breaks down barriers. And for the public school student who comes to school with an empty stomach, this means a free breakfast — no matter what their family’s income. This budget is a historic investment in Pennsylvania schools.”
With this budget, Pennsylvania will spend over $10 billion on public education. As a result of this budget’s increase in basic education funding, Penn Hills School District will receive $1.5 million more this year, and more than 146,000 students in Allegheny County – including more than 1,200 students at Penn Hills Elementary – will get healthy meals to start the school day.
“By signing into law a commonsense, bipartisan budget that delivers on one of Governor Shapiro’s top priorities of investing in K-12 public schools, we will see the largest increase in Basic Education Funding Formula in Pennsylvania history,” said Dawn Golden, Assistant Superintendent of the Penn Hills School District. “The budget also provides funding for universal free breakfast for every public school student to make sure students are well prepared when they enter our classrooms. Governor Shapiro is showing his commitment to investing in Pennsylvania’s education system.”
This budget makes historic investments in K-12 public schools, including the largest BEF increase in Pennsylvania history and universal free breakfast for public school students. This budget includes:
- A $567 million increase in basic education funding for Pennsylvania school districts, enabling all school districts to have the basic resources they need to provide a high-quality education for Pennsylvania students. This is the largest BEF increase in history.
- A $50 million increase in special education funding, reinforcing Pennsylvania’s commitment to equitable education for all students.
- A $46.5 million increase in funding to provide universal free breakfast to Pennsylvania’s 1.7 million public school students regardless of income, and free lunch to all 22,000 Pennsylvania students who are eligible for reduced-price lunches through the National School Lunch Program.
- A $23.5 million investment in workforce training and vo-tech programs to help expand our workforce and empower students to chart their own course.
For more information on the investments made in this commonsense, bipartisan budget, visit shapirobudget.pa.gov.